published: Friday, November 23, 2012
Thanksgiving meal served for seniors
ROXANNE BROWN | Staff Writer
More than 80 seniors in attendance at the James L. Wyche Senior Center in Groveland received an early Thanksgiving meal Friday.
Vincenza Leonardo called it "excellent" and said it made her feel special.
"We got treated royally and it was very nice," she said.
The meal represented the sixth annual meal hosted by volunteers from Lexington Village, led by outgoing Mayor Mike Radzik and his wife Rose, who started the tradition.
In the past, the entire community has been invited and hundreds have been served the traditional meal each year. A combination of circumstances and lack of donations this year however, prevented the group from entertaining such a large venue.
Radzik said he could not bear doing nothing at all, so he decided to serve the seniors. Donations were still hard to come by, so senior center frequenter Gene Parker stepped up with a large donation to cover the cost of the food.
"It didn't look like it was going to happen at all, but I'm glad we were able to do something," Radzik said. "You can see how much they enjoyed it, too, so it was good."
According to Sweatt, volunteers prepared nine turkey breasts, 25 pounds of mashed potatoes, 20 boxes of stuffing, 10 cans of cranberry sauce, 20 cans of green beans, 20 cans of corn, dozens of rolls and 10 sweet potato pies.
Seniors Diego Serafini and his Buddy Kenneth Martin said they were grateful for the meal, especially the pies.
"I went up three times," Serafini said.
Martin, though shyer about it, admitted that he, too, had three pieces of pie with extra whipped cream.
Facility Manager Lois Gray and Meal Site Manager Kate Preston both said they were grateful the meal came together for the seniors, since many of them may not have a Thanksgiving dinner otherwise without family or transportation to go anywhere else.
"This has become a tradition for the city and we intend to keep it going," Radzik said.