Will there be a twenty-fifth?
That is up to the community, according to Don Osman, chair of the Havre de Grace Community Thanksgiving Dinner Committee.
"S.M.I.L.E.S," (Service Makes Individual Lives Extra Special), a volunteer organization at Havre de Grace High School, sponsored the free Thanksgiving for the past 24 years but ended the program at the end of the school year, Osman said.
Osman is a retired Havre de Grace High School English teacher who founded the program, according to ExploreHarford.com.
Local nonprofit Community Projects of Havre de Grace has taken the Thanksgiving dinner tradition on for 2013, but it needs help, Osman said.
By Tuesday, Oct. 15, it must meet its fundraising goal of $4,500.
As of Oct. 10, the organization had raised $3,750, according to Osman.
"We need to reach our goal as soon as possible so that the food and necessary supplies can be ordered," Osman said.
The Bayou Restaurant has donated vegetables in previous years and will continue this year, according to organizers. Other businesses, organizations, churches and individuals have contributed, Osman said, but more donations are needed.
"We served 782 meals last year and feel that it is important to keep this event going," Osman said.
The meal is free to anyone who needs or wants a Thanksgiving dinner.
The service area generally includes Havre de Grace, Aberdeen, Abingdon, Bel Air, Edgewood and Perryville, Osman said.
The menu: turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn and green beans, coffee, tea, soda, milk and dessert.
If the event takes place, there will be a buffet at St. Patrick Hall (650 Pennington Ave.) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26. In addition, volunteers will deliver meals and pick up those who need a ride to the hall.
What You Can Do:
- Donate money. Checks can be made out to "Thanksgiving Dinner Committee of Community Projects of Havre de Grace" and mailed to the Community Projects of Havre de Grace, Inc., at 224 N. Washington St., Havre de Grace, MD 21078. If the committee does not meet its funding goal, all checks will be returned.
- Volunteer. People are needed to help cook, serve and deliver meals. Call Don Osman at 410-939-5412 (no calls after 6 p.m., please).