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Smithsburg church feeds a Thanksgiving multitude

November 22, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

SMITHSBURG

While most Washington County residents enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at home with friends and loved ones Thursday, some local residents took advantage of free dinners hosted by area churches.

Members of Trinity Lutheran Church of Smithsburg said they were expecting 75 to 100 people to attend their free Thanksgiving meal, which was held from 12 to 2 p.m.

"It's a good thing for people who don't have people to spend Thanksgiving with or can't make the meal themselves," said congregation member John Martirano, who helped organize the event.

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It was the church's second year hosting a community Thanksgiving meal, which was prepared by members of the church.

"We've got turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, everything," said Martirano, who also works as a county attorney for Washington County.

A group of volunteers who were fixing plates in the church's small kitchen said seven turkeys were cooked for the meal.

Martirano said 14 pumpkin pies were baked, but he was quickly corrected by a passing volunteer.

"Eighteen now, John, we've cooked 18 pies now," she said.

Regardless of the amount, people seemed to be enjoying the food.

"It's delicious. You're not going to get a bad meal in church," said Ruth Virginia Smith of Smithsburg.

Smith said she attended the event because her family lives too far away to get together.

Sharon Watkins said she was celebrating Thanksgiving at the church with her mother, Gladys, and son, Bobby, who had come to visit from Pennsylvania.

"We could cook at home, but this is easier and more fun. You get to meet people," Sharon Watkins said.

"Last year, we had people just out of the hospital, elderly people, folks that live alone," Martirano said. "It's good that they have a place they can come."

The group also prepared meals for people who had to work Thanksgiving, such as local firefighters and emergency services workers as well as employees at a nearby AC&T.

"This is something we do for the community," Martirano said.

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