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Williamsport Moose Lodge hosts first community meal

November 22, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Williamsport Moose Lodge's first community Thanksgiving dinner didn't draw the anticipated crowd of 300 to 400 people, but it did help some people in need, said Russ Robinson, lodge governor.

"Four hundred, 500 people would have been wonderful, but if you hit the people that need it the most, we've done our job," Robinson said Sunday.

Almost 30 volunteers, including ones from the Frederick (Md.) Moose Lodge and the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Moose Association, served Thanksgiving dinner to 125 people Sunday afternoon at the lodge on North Conococheague Street.

Lodge officials contacted Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA) and Holly Place in Hagerstown to share leftovers from the dinner, Russ Robinson said.

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Despite the low turnout, Robinson said lodge officials plan to make the community Thanksgiving dinner an annual event.

"A low turnout right now doesn't mean there's people that don't need it," Robinson said.

In addition to people who needed a meal, families and friends gathered at the lodge to eat together.

Debbie Wolford, 52, of Hagerstown, was eating with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, a friend and six grandchildren. Sunday was the first time the group had been together for a meal since last Christmas, when Wolford's other children and grandchildren also were in attendance.

"It's nice," Wolford said. If not for the community dinner, her family would not have gotten together for a Thanksgiving meal this year.

"My kids go to their in-laws," she said.

Wolford said she couldn't remember the last time the whole family was together for Thanksgiving.

She still hasn't decided whether she'll be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

"I just don't want to cook for two people," said Wolford, who went out to eat last Thanksgiving with her husband, Frank.

Hagerstown resident Cindy Bovey didn't feel like cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal, either.

Bovey, 42, attended the dinner with her husband, David, 49, and friends Charles and Patricia Knapp of Williamsport, and Jeannie Vosburgh of Hagerstown.

Sunday was the first time the five of them had gotten together for a Thanksgiving meal.

Bovey said the meal was delicious.

She and Vosburgh will be cooking for a Thanksgiving potluck at Potomac Towers, where they live.

Bovey will prepare potato salad.

"I'm making baked corn. I'm baking the ham and I'm making a (strawberry) dessert," said Vosburgh, 58.

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