A push to revive a community Thanksgiving Dinner tradition started nearly a decade ago has earned the support of many in the community, according to Kerri Hammond-Abreu, this year’s event organizer.
“The response has been really incredible,” Abreu said. “We’ve got more than 50 people who’ve reserved a place at the dinner and we’re hoping we’ll see a lot more turn out.”
Pete and Sylvia Marciano started the community Thanksgiving Dinner about nine years ago, but the event was canceled last year for family health reasons. When that happened, some thought that was the end of a Thanksgiving tradition. This year, Abreu decided otherwise.
“It was a great service to the community that was really missed when the Marcianos were unable to do it last year,” said Hammond-Abreu recently. “I think there continues to be a need for this in the community, and at this time of year and the holidays, no one wants to be alone.”
For seven years the Marciano family and an army of volunteers hosted the community Thanksgiving dinner at the Napa County Fairgrounds for those who would have otherwise spent it alone, but in the eighth year Pete’s health became an issue and prevented the family from making the Herculean effort.
This year Abreu hopes Pete and Sylvia will be her guests. “It’s a way for the community to say thanks to the couple,” she said.
“After talking to Sylvia, I decided that since she already had the contacts and everything, I would take on the task this year,” Abreu said.
Abreu said early this week that support has been tremendous.
“We’ve enjoyed the support of a lot of volunteers, and because of that we don’t need any more volunteers,” she said. “What we need is for more people to plan to attend this year’s dinner … it’s going to be really fabulous, and wonderful.”
The dinner will be in the Butler building on the Napa Valley Fairgrounds on Thanksgiving Day. Doors will open at 2 p.m., with dinner to follow at 2:30. There is no fee, and anyone interested in attending should make a reservation by calling Kerri at 942-9230, or calling Liz Hammond at 942-6705 to let them know how many will attend.
Abreu’s crew will also deliver meals to the homebound, by reservation only.
“I’m having it at the fairgrounds because I don’t think I can just invite the whole town into my house,” Abreu said. “The last time Pete and Sylvia hosted the dinner they had more than 120 guests and delivered another 22 meals to the homebound.”
To donate to help with the cost of the dinner, send a check to Calistoga Community Thanksgiving P.O. Box 1210, Calistoga, CA 94515.