Seniors enjoy Thanksgiving at Legion
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Approximately 200 seniors found their way to the American Legion Post 26's annual Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.
Harry Roberts, a Post 26 member, said volunteers prepared 16 turkeys for the dinner.
Roberts and a few other Legion members were seated inside the entrance to the Legion hall and welcomed those who arrived.
Roberts said Dial-A-Ride and Sons of American Legion members also offered transport to seniors who needed help to get to the dinner.
John McLaughlin, Post 26 Commander, said he was glad to see so many people turn up for the annual event.
He said the seniors did not have to be Post 26 members to attend the dinner.
Roughly 40 volunteers helped put on the dinner, including cooking, serving the food and cleaning up after the dinner.
Barbara Parks was the chairperson for the first senior Thanksgiving dinner held at the Legion 20 years ago.
She has been a regular volunteer since.
Parks said most of the volunteers are members of the American Legion and Sons of American Legion Auxiliaries.
She thinks the seniors enjoy being able to get together for an informal dinner before the Thanksgiving holiday, which most people spend with their own families.
Mary Ann Petro and her husband, John, were at the dinner with their friends, Terry Klement, and Leon Keller.
Petro said they attended last year's dinner after friends recommended it as a fun and social event.
And, she said, she knew many of the seniors from area dancing events.
Klement, too, said she enjoyed the Thanksgiving dinner.
The group of friends who were seated at a corner table were also glad to see more people turn up for this year's dinner than last year.