The Thanksgiving for Paso Robles dinner auction ended Saturday night with about $600,000 in donations raised to benefit the nonprofit organization. The event also brought out hundreds of residents and businesses that donated food items or made a monetary donation to support the annual fundraising effort.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles wraps up successful 37th dinner and is looking forward to the 38th. The organization has been serving food to over 500 people every Thanksgiving since 1971.
On November 25, about 1200 dinners were provided.
PASO ROBLES — For the 37th Thanksgiving in Paso Robles, approximately 1,200 dinners were delivered to the community on Thursday, Nov. 25 at Centennial Park.
While it was one of the weakest days for dine-in dinners they’ve had, Chairman David Kudija notes that Turkey Day went “amazingly!” The Thanksgiving team served more meals than ever before, thanks to COVID and those who wanted to remain at home, according to Kudija.
There were around 1,500 lunches cooked and given, which is similar to previous years. Originally, Kudija said that they anticipated a stronger demand for meals owing to the difficult conditions of the previous two years.
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Thanksgiving for Paso Robles is delivering leftovers from Thursday’s feast this week. El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) shelters in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo received some leftovers (SLO). About 20 pumpkin pies were delivered to Paso Robles’ Bridge Christian Church and distributed to the congregation.
Three remaining pies were then delivered to the Centennial Park staff.
“They [the employees] went above and above this year, assisting us with all of the preparations,” Kudija remarked.
While the annual Thanksgiving meal went off without a hitch, there were fears three weeks previously that the club might be unable to carry it off owing to a shortage of volunteers.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles is operated entirely by volunteers and is entirely supported by contributions. The yearly meal costs around $9,000 and requires about 200 volunteers.
On Monday, volunteers begin preparing and cooking the meals, and by Thursday, they will be able to feed about 2,000 people.
At the beginning of November, there were only 80 volunteers, very short of the required number to put on the meal. People flocked in droves as news got out, according to Kudija: “The community really stepped up, and we were overwhelmed with volunteer requests the last two weeks—we had to turn volunteers away.”
Now is the time for Kudija and his team to enjoy the remainder of the holiday season and reflect on what they learnt at Thanksgiving this year. They’ll discuss what they learned and any new ideas for the next Thanksgiving in January.
“A great thank you to the community, to all of the media who helped us get our message out, to all of our volunteers,” Kudija concludes. That’s who makes it all happen—this is really a community event. The community is our only source of funding. It’s the people in the community that pull up their sleeves and help make it happen.”
Thanksgiving in Paso Robles is a “gathering of thankfulness” that serves a traditional Thanksgiving lunch to about 1,500 men, women, and children from all walks of life. A real manifestation of community that draws people from all walks of life together to celebrate the day.
Visit thanksgivingforpasorobles.com for more information about Thanksgiving in Paso Robles.
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