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[November 23, 2012]
A Thanksgiving tradition: Volunteers serve up annual feast
ENID, Okla., Nov 22, 2012 (Enid News & Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When it was all said and done Thursday, First Baptist Church served between 500 and 600 Thanksgiving Day lunches, including some 100 pies baked by church members.
The meals were served by some 100 volunteers, a mixture of church members and others who just wanted to help others out. That was the whole point of the day, one longtime volunteers said.
"This is a tradition for my family," said Kay DeWall. "I would say all together, I've done this for 20 years. I bet the church has been serving this for more than 25 years." DeWall said she and her husband began serving meals together when they were a young couple. She said they continued the tradition, involving their kids and other friends.
DeWall said two of her three children and her husband were serving meals Thursday at the church. She said some friends from Shawnee also were at First Baptist Thursday with their children serving meals.
"When our kids were little, they were the drink-and-rolls people," she said. "This is our Thanksgiving tradition." DeWall said helping others out in the community is just one of the reasons she spends this holiday with the church. She said being at the church on Thanksgiving was a way to share Christ's love with the community.
"This church is our family," she said. "It has shown our family how to be thankful for all of the blessings God has blessed us with." DeWall said by serving people and going out and delivering meals, her children learned an "eye-opening" lesson they could not have learned anywhere else.
Becky Seymoun and Sally Beaver were co-chairs for the luncheon at First Baptist Church.
"We're making sure the volunteers know what to do," Seymoun said. "We're making sure everything is in order." Volunteers were plating meals of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. Others were making sure four tables were stocked with slices of fresh pies, while others walked the dining room with rolls and pitchers of water and iced tea.
Seymoun and church member and caterer Sue Norrie estimated between 500 and 600 meals would be prepared. About 90 or so would be delivered and the rest eaten at the church.
"We want them to come here so we can serve them," Norrie said.
Creating a Thanksgiving meal for those in need or those with no where else to go for the holiday has been a long-standing tradition at the church.
"We are a very, very mission-oriented church," Seymoun said. "We do a lot of meals on Sunday." For Seymoun, helping out at Thanksgiving was a first for her.
"I have to admit, this is the first year I've done this," she said. "My husband and I have talked about it for two years, so I'm finally doing it." She said the importance of helping others on Thanksgiving was to let others know there are people who care.
"The way the world is today, the more individuals we help in the community, the better," she said. "It is important to let people know we care. We get to go home to our cozy homes tonight, and a lot of people don't have that opportunity." ___ (c)2012 the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.) Visit the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.) at www.enidnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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