Tecumseh area residents enjoyed turkey and all trimmings Thursday as Randy and Suzanne Gilbert hosted the seventh annual community Thanksgiving dinner at city hall.
The event that has grown from serving about 100 meals the first year to well over 400 this year.
“This is our seventh year to do the Tecumseh family Thanksgiving dinner,” Suzanne Gilbert said.
And what started as a way for them to give back to the community has turned into a tradition that many Tecumseh area residents can’t pass up.
“Many say what a blessing it is for them to be able to come and do this,” Suzanne Gilbert said, busy serving up glasses of iced tea.
With such a small family, Suzanne Gilbert said they wanted to start a dinner for the community and it’s grown into what feels like a large family gathering each year for the sit-down dinner.
“It’s a good social event as people come and visit,” Randy Gilbert said.
The dinner also is a way for the Gilberts to give back to the community.
“So many people have given to us over the years and we think it’s a great way for everyone to be together,” Suzanne Gilbert said. “This is truly a community event.”
While the Gilberts started and initially funded all of the event, it has grown over the years to include assistance and donations from many in the community as well as help from many who cook some of the items and those who volunteer to help throughout the day.
“Now we have so many people in the community who contribute,” she said.
“It’s just a great day – it doesn’t even seem like work,” she said.
With Tecumseh having a large senior population, Suzanne Gilbert said the event also provides a place for them to come eat Thanksgiving dinner.
For Frane Godsy, who said she doesn’t cook, the event is a great place for everyone to come and enjoy the holiday.
“It’s a good way to see people you don’t normally get to see,” she said.
Cecil and Sue Bernard also enjoyed the community event.
“We come every year…it’s great — it’s just like family,” Sue Bernard said, adding it’s a nice part about living in a small town. “It’s nice.”
About 112 pounds of turkey were cooked up for the event, which included side dishes and, of course, pie for dessert.
Page 2 of 2 - About 40 volunteers from the community turned out to help with the annual dinner. Residents from Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center also assisted by setting up tables.