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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saugatuck Church Readies 42nd Thanksgiving Feast

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By James Lomuscio

Started by its former pastor, the Rev. Theodore Hoskins, in 1970 to address the needs of the homeless during the holiday, the Saugatuck Congregational Church’s annual Thanksgiving feast has grown to welcome Westporters from all walks of life, all in the spirit of community.

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The scene from last year’s Thanksgiving feast also held at Christ & Holy Trinity Church because of the fire at Saugatuck Congregational Church. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

“Absolutely, it’s open to the homeless and the rich, anyone who wants to be part of the community,” said Randy Christophersen, chairman of the event now in its 42nd year.

This year’s event, as was last year’s due to the church fire, will be held in the Great Hall of Christ & Holy Trinity Church at 75 Church Lane. Christophersen said he expects about 300 to attend the dinner to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“We’re going to be serving in the neighborhood of 32 to 35 turkeys,” he said.

Christophersen, a native Westporter who has been running the feast for the past three years, said that the dinner holds specific poignancy in the wake of Storm Sandy that not only displaced a number of homeowners but brought the town closer together.

“We’re trying to invite everybody, especially the Police and Fire Department and the Department of Public Works,” he said, noting that the town’s first responders showcased the sense of fellowship the dinner represents.

“And this year we also want to invite people from Bridgeport who lost their homes in the storm,” he added. “If they need to be picked up, we can pick them up and drive them home.”

Of course, the free, full holiday meal with all the trimmings, not to mention a four-piece jazz band headed by Bob Lasprogato, the town’s Republican Registrar of Voters, is dependent on volunteers. And to that end, Saugatuck Congregational is welcoming all those who want to help out.

On its website, it states the event will require 30 volunteer chefs, 20 servers, set-up and clean-up crews, and people to set up decorations and to work the floor, helping with the flow of guests. Also needed are donations of 60 store bought pies: cherry, apple, pumpkin, blueberry, peach, plus cakes and brownies.

“And I want to give special thanks to the children at the Coleytown Elementary School,” Christophersen said. “They make all the decorations and the Thanksgiving cards that really mean a lot to people. They take them home with them.”

For further information or to volunteer, call (203) 227-1261.

Posted 11/20 at 03:53 AM

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