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Food, fellowship on the menu at Keedysville church

November 19, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

KEEDYSVILLE - This will be the first holiday in 20 years that Angela Clemens will spend in a place that feels like home.

She retired in June after two decades in the U.S. Air Force.

"I won't be traveling," said Clemens, of Keedysville. "It's a very good feeling. It's home. I don't have to transfer or go anywhere. I'm very grateful ... especially for the pumpkin pie."

On Sunday, Clemens ate her first slice of her favorite holiday treat at a community Thanksgiving dinner at Salem United Methodist Church in Keedysville.

The Rev. Patricia Watson said this was the first year the church hosted the dinner, which was free. She said it was open to the entire community, but there was a focus on those who could not afford a Thanksgiving dinner.

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She said it was advertised at area homeless shelters and senior centers.

"It's a time to reach out to the community," Watson said. "(The church is) in the heart of the community with the community in our heart."

Nearly 100 people attended the dinner, which included turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie and other dishes. The dishes were prepared by members of the church, and the turkeys and hams were donated, said Kathy Mendiola, who coordinated the dinner.

"It's a good thing," she said. "It's a God thing."

George Ray, of Hagerstown, a member of Salem United Methodist Church, said he enjoyed the meal.

"And the price was just right," he said, while chatting with other members of the church.

Sharpsburg resident Sarah Thompson said feeding the community is important, and she helped by making one of the types of stuffing available Sunday.

"I really like when we do things that the whole community is invited to," she said.

Watson said the church likely will host a community Thanksgiving dinner next year.

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