By Marci Watson, Staff Writer:
Every year, folks look forward to the annual Good Samaritan Community Thanksgiving Open Table. But, did you know there are other Thanksgiving community meals in the county? The Fannin Focus stopped by three community meals in the area on Thanksgiving Day to see what was going on.
First, a visit to the Good Samaritan event: At 11:30 a.m., the FCHS cafeteria was bustling with volunteers serving food and a long, hungry line of diners. To-go boxes and dine-in plates were being filled to overloaded with turkey and the trimmings. Cafeteria tables were beautifully decorated creating a genuine holiday atmosphere.
Good Sam, as the non-profit is affectionately called, has hosted the Open Table for 12 years. It began as an alternative for people that couldn’t get home for Thanksgiving, didn’t have any family in the area, or single and no where to go for the national holiday. Today, children craft activities, a silent auction, entertainment and an open mic session along with the cooked-from-scratch Thanksgiving meal round out the day’s events. In 2015, a record-setting 500 meals were served at the Good Sam Open Table event.
The Good Samaritan organization would like to thank the Fannin County School System for the use of the high school cafeteria, Grilling Gangsters for smoking the turkeys and all the area businesses who contributed to making the 2016 event.
Over in McCaysville/Copperhill, a Community Thanksgiving Meal was served at the Copperhill United Methodist Church. Volunteers started cooking early in the morning in order to serve Thanksgiving meals. An air of fellowship filled the air of the UMC Community Room and mingled with the delicious smells of roasted turkey and baked ham with all the fixings. The Thanksgiving Community Meal was originally served in Ducktown for 20+ years before moving to Copperhill UMC.
Salem #2 Baptist Church has hosted a Community Thanksgiving Meal for the Mineral Bluff area for four years, with the tradition drawing many neighbors to come and break bread with the congregation. Elderly and shut-ins received delivered meals by the church’s pastor, Randy Hooper. Hooper even took his family along so in addition to a hot Thanksgiving meal, fellowship was also on the menu. Selected church members delivered meals to inmates at the Fannin County jail, too.
All in all, Salem Baptist enjoyed a wonderful holiday meal, giving thanks and serving the community. May God bless them richly.
The Fannin Focus wishes everyone a peaceful and blessed weekend!