Community Thanksgiving dinner brings island together

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A showing of community goodwill occurred this past Thursday as approximately 200 diners joined a large group of volunteers to celebrate Thanksgiving at the Brigantine Beach Community Center.

It was a chance for many on the island to help those who experienced the worst of Sandy’s recent visit. Some volunteered their time, and many more donated food and money, which allowed the diners to enjoy a meal and give thanks.

Turkeys (and much, much more) were donated by the Parker family, then cooked and carved by the culinary students at ACIT. Additional turkeys and ham were donated by Adam Goodman, who owns the local Hooters and other restaurants. The dressing came from Goodfellows, dinner rolls from Aversa’s, and soda from the Pepsi Bottling Company in Mays Landing and from Macedonian Grill. Pies were provided by George Zally of the Turnersville Shoprite and from the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Donnamarie Alden and her friend Ellen showed up after driving from Delaware with 98 pumpkin pies (originally 100, but two pies ended up with a law enforcement officer somewhere along the trip).

The cooking crew was led by Chef Chris Domenick from the Brigantine Links, who donated his skills and time.

Dr. Barry Glazier donated $1,000 in gift cards and local realtor Joe Musumeci added another $300, with an unspecified amount from the Gavigans. TD Bank donated $200, which was used to buy gifts for the children such as coloring books and games.

The dinner, envisioned by Brigantine resident Marjorie Goodman, was skillfully laid out by Adrienne Sharp, assisted by Luanne Klemm and many of her friends and neighbors. Although the meal was free, donations were requested, which allowed the group to collect more than $1,400 for the True Spirit Coalition.

A partial list of volunteers includes: Lauren Robbins, Kayla Geisler, Jeffrey Geisler, Joy Meyers, Chrissy Lauletta, Pat Kowalski, Dianne Henessy, Tom Nyman, Betsy Nyman, Jocelyn Yee, Kelly Menzano, Mike and Carolyn Harris and family, Barbara Dubois, Ellen Corapi, Bonnie Gutman, Susan Panis, Virginia and Peter Keane, Linda Nese, Donnamarie Alden, Ellen Cosgrove, Marianne DiFalco, Diane Alexeev, Rosamaria Sicilia-Beare, Marisa Cicarelli, Charlie Miller, Janice Elkin, Paul Zuber, Keely LePera, Barbara Lugene, Edith Danson, Ann Faris, Pat Marrandino, Maxine Sharp, Lisa Moore, Joyce Hall, Michelle Schriner, Betsy Marroletti, Lin Flanagan, Sandy & Tom Venafro, Rob and Karen Kuhn, Michael Feely, Mary Ann Michelfelder, and John Livezey.

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