By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
Victory Center Executive Director Ray Gimenez is ready for tonight’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet.
The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. in Ashford University’s Durgin Center.
As of Tuesday, Gimenez said they will have more than 400 people, almost 500 with volunteers at the event. However, he plans to prepare enough to serve 700 people, encouraging more people to come.
Gimenez reported that the Victory Center received a good amount of donations, allowing them to provide for everyone who attends this meal.
He even has food left over to give away 25 free turkeys and 25 food boxes. Until a few days ago, Gimenez was afraid he would not receive enough turkeys. However, he now has more than 100 turkeys, 60 of which were donated on Tuesday.
“We give away a lot of them. We prepare a lot of them,” Gimenez said.
Any turkeys not given out or cooked for the dinner will be used for Christmas at the Victory Center.
Gimenez is grateful for the support the dinner has received so far. He is thankful to Ashford University for allowing them to hold the event in the Durgin Center.
He feels this will give participants more room at the banquet. He also thanked those who donated food items and their time. He added that it would be difficult to put on this yearly banquet without everyone’s help.
“We have to work together to make things happen,” Gimenez said.
During the banquet, volunteers will deliver meals. However, Gimenez said only 20 carry-out meals have been ordered so far. He feels that most people want to attend the meal and share in the fellowship. Approximately five volunteers will be driving people who would otherwise be unable to attend. These volunteers will pick them up and take them home.
“We’re doing everything we possibly can do to get people to the meal,” Gimenez said.
Anyone interested in transportation to the event or having a meal delivered to them can call 242-9016.