Annual Thanksgiving Meal a Feast for Guests, Youth Service Group Staff at Terre Haute | New

HIGH EARTH – Christmas briefly retired, as it was Thanksgiving’s turn to arrive early this year when Chances And Services for Youth hosted their annual meal Tuesday night at the Booker T. Washington Community Center.

About 250 people feasted on their choice of turkey, ham, meatballs, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, fruit salad and rolls prepared by CASY staff.

Tribune-Star / Joseph C. GarzaThanksgiving in a Box: Sarah Knoblock, a staff member of Chances and Youth Services, hands a take-out meal to Anthony Espinoza as Anthony’s mother, Anna Ortiz, watches during the meal at Thanksgiving CASY Tuesday at the Booker Center Community T. Washington.

J. Ford’s Black Angus, CASY’s Thanksgiving Meal financial donor for the past decade, contributed $ 1,000 to the effort.

“For most of my employees, we are fortunate to have what we have,” said Brandon Halleck, CEO of CASY. “And this is an opportunity to give back to those who may not have as much. And what better time to come together and mingle and do this than during the holiday season. It is heartwarming for the staff.

He added: “Everyone has always been so grateful, so grateful for this.”

The community center now has a full industrial kitchen, a substantial turnaround from its beginnings, when only two of the three ovens were in operation (which was only discovered when workers noticed that the turkeys were not heating up).

And having a sit-down meal was much more rewarding than last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced CASY to simply operate a drive-thru – they ran out of food in half an hour.

Sarah Knoblock, who has worked at CASY as Vigo County’s tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator for the past two years, said dining together at the table is far better than drive-thru.

“I think people in the community like to have that connection – eat in person and share a meal together rather than rushing in line,” Knoblock said.

A Beautiful Evening with CASY: Annual Thanksgiving Meal a treat for guests, staff

Tribune-Star / Joseph C. Garza Don’t Forget the Green Beans: Volunteer Renee Zigler places a serving of green beans on a recipient’s plate during the CASY Thanksgiving meal Tuesday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center. On the right, Chad Zigler.

“Especially at this time of year being able to interact with others and have a meal together is very important,” agreed Maddi Elliott, who has just started as a community assistant with Healthy Start. “I’m super excited to be a part of it this year.”

Renee Zigler, a student at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, and her husband Chad, an engineer at Rolls Royce in Indianapolis, had volunteered to help fill people’s plates with tasty food.

“Coming out of COVID and all the stay-at-home closings and orders, it’s important for me to be in the community and share what we have and spend time with each other,” Renee said. .

Chad added, “Being able to give back – we often take the things we have for granted, and there are a lot of people who can’t. It makes a big difference in the community.

Kandace Brown of CASY’s Big Brothers / Big Sisters program was having a meal with her little sister, Rhianna, 11, fifth year.

“I love this organization, I love all the programs it runs, but Big Brothers / Big Sisters is particularly close to my heart, because of what we do and the relationship Rhianna and I have,” said Brown. “I loved watching her grow up since the first year. We have a lot of fun together – we try to do neat things in addition to the homework. The program is really making an impact in helping kids get mentoring services.

Rhianna’s favorite menu item was corn.

“It’s a fun night,” Brown said.

Halleck summed up the evening: “We give almost all of our time with the work we do in general, but it’s a way of interacting on a different level, and that’s what we love to do.

David Kronke can be reached at 812-231-4232 or [email protected]

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