A total of 650 people were served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday night during the first community Thanksgiving dinner, held from 4-7 p.m. at the Diamond High School commons area.
The come and go event was sponsored by many local businesses and organizations, including Pepsi Co., Casey’s General Store, The Diamond Improvement Group, The Lions Club and many of the Diamond high school organizations willing to get involved for the benefit of the community.
“It is free, it is not for just the low income, and it is for the community. It is for everybody,” said Melissa James, coordinator of the event.
The people were served their choice of turkey, ham or chicken, with all of the trimmings, including salad and dessert.
James also noted that homebound meals were taken to those who could not attend.
James came up with the idea a while back.
“It started as a class assignment,” she said. “I am a social worker at Pitt State, a senior this year and a requirement is some sort of community event. I talked to a few people, seen there was a want and a need for this, so I just kind of went from there. The area churches and organizations here in town really made this possible.”
The food was donated from area businesses and organizations, along with countless volunteers coming out to help serve the food.
One of the residents who came to partake in the food was Dale Privett and his wife, Mebyl.
“The food is real good,” Dale Privett said. “I think it is great and I think it might become a traditional thing, yearly I hope.”
Aside from the food, Privett enjoyed the concept of the community coming together.
“To get members of the community to come together and work on things to help the community,” he said. “I think that each community needs to pull together on a lot of things: schools, city business, and the whole works just need to come together. We need to work on things for the city such as restaurants or other businesses and so forth we don’t now have. That is why I think that it is good.”
Originally, the organizers prepared food for 400, but James noted they made more food to accommodate the 650 served.
James was pleased with the turnout during the first event.
“It was a great success,” she said. “I have heard lots of people say they would like to see that. Perhaps a holiday community thing.”