Volunteers Serve Thanksgiving Dinner
A Charlestown tradition continues today at the American Legion.
For 25 years volunteers from the community have organized a free Thanksgiving dinner for those without a place to go on the holiday.
Bob and Carol Sweeney has spearheaded the event for the last 19 years. For years, they served the meal at Sweeney's Bunker Hill Seafood restuarant. But when the Sweeneys closed their business, they relocated the tradition to the American Legion. And that's where it will be take place today from noon to 2. Everyone is welcome.
"The more the merrier," Sweeney says about the event, which is free and open to anyone in the community today.
The menu includes customary fare for the holiday. There's turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, various veggies, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and a dessert tray with pie, fresh fruit, candy, cookies and even fresh flowers.
In preparation of the day's event, Sweeney asks around eighteen of his close friends and neighbors from his hometown of Stoneham to help out. He's been working since the beginning of the week to have 27 turkeys -- distributed among his friends -- ready to serve today.
The Girls Scouts of Charlestown also have a hand in helping out, by doing most of the necessary prep work for the meal the night before. They come in to the American Legion to snap beans, peel potatoes and trim carrots. All the food served at the Thanksgiving dinner is made from scratch.
"Everyone's been very helpful," Sweeney adds. "We have a good time."
The crew, along with Sweeney and his wife, three daughters and their husbands will be at the Legion as early as 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Volunteers will form an assembly line to turn out meals for about 75 guests, as well as 25 packaged meals for people who are unable to leave their homes.
With the help of monetary donations from the local neighborhoods, Sweeney and his family are able to host this Thanksgiving Dinner as well as to help put on similar events for Christmas and Easter Sunday in Stoneham.
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