One good turn deserves another.
Two — well, read on.
A year ago this Sunday — 4 days before Thanksgiving — Saugatuck Congregational Church was nearly destroyed by fire.
Less than 3 weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed Westport.
Either calamity might have pushed the church’s annual Thanksgiving feast to the back burner.
Instead, last year’s event was a spectacular success.
This year’s will be even bigger.
Twelve months after the blaze, the Saugatuck Church building is still unusable. So — for the 2nd straight year — Christ & Holy Trinity Church has opened its spacious Branson Hall to all.
Christ and Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall — site of the 41st annual Thanksgiving feast.
Saugatuck Church organizers are equally generous. This year — to honor the men who saved their building — they’ve invited all Westport firefighters to this Thursday’s feast.
And, in Sandy’s wake, they’re also inviting every Westport police officer, EMT member and Public Works employee.
Plus all CL&P crews and tree guys. Along with any out-of-state utility workers who might still be around.
“We want them all,” says Saugatuck Church mission board chairman Randy Christophersen.
“They can come join us. They can drive up and get a meal to go. We’ll even deliver it to their home or apartment.”
The guest list doesn’t end there. Anyone whose home is still uninhabitable — in Westport, Bridgeport, any port — is invited. So are seniors at the Westport Health Care Center.
Transportation a problem? No problem! Volunteers will pick anyone up, and bring them home.
And, of course, there’s the usual guest list: anyone alone, lonely, even entire fortunate families just looking to share a meal with others, is welcome.
Oh, yes: Bob Lasprogato’s jazz band will play.
This is a massive undertaking. And, Randy notes, Saugatuck and Christ & Holy Trinity could not do it alone.
Green’s Farms Congregational Church and Temple Israel — Saugatuck’s post-fire home-away-from-home — are contributing 2 crucial elements: volunteers and food.
They’re not the only ones.
Stew Leonard’s has donated 25 turkeys; Brit Air is giving another 15 more. Oscar’s‘ refrigerators are storing them. Stop & Shop is providing all the produce. Juice comes from Newman’s Own Foundation. First County and Webster Banks are staunch supporters too.
The Boy Scouts are doing pots and pans. 100 chairs will come from Assumption Church.
“This is a snap,” says Randy Christophersen, in between hectic preparations for the massive feast.
“Last year after the fire, we had only 3 days prepare.”
Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, apple pie for hundreds of Westporters, neighboring residents, seniors, first responders, municipal and utility workers — piece of cake.
(The Saugatuck Congregational Church’s 41st annual Thanksgiving feast is set for Thursday, November 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. For more information, or to request a delivered meal or ride, click here.)