Pass the turkey! Each year for the past five years, Humble, as a community, has participated in an extraordinary holiday tradition. Residents gather at the Humble Civic Center and join one of the largest “family” Thanksgiving dinners. This year, the feast is on Nov. 26, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. “I’m in the food services business [owner, Top Hat Catering],”said Bonnie Gardner, chairman of the Humble Thanksgiving. “Five years ago, I wanted to do something to give back to the community and I helped to organize the first community-wide gathering. With help of faithful supporters of the event, we are now enjoying our fifth year enjoying Thanksgiving as a community.” Gardner considers the event a labor of love, and said it is a way to serve and minister to her community. She said she has always volunteered and been active in civic organizations, but that she is lifted up by the continued support by sponsors for this particular event. She describes the lunch as a large ‘family gathering.’ There is no fee to eat. “You’ll see everyone there, children and grandparents,” said Gardner. “In our first year, we served about 1,000 people. This year, we are prepared to serve more than 2,500.” Helping fill plates will be Humble’s mayor and city councilmen. Those who have difficulty attending can pick up “to-go” food beginning at 10:30 a.m. All of the original sponsors continue to sponsor the event. Gardner said it is also interesting that each continues to bring the same food item or paper product each year, so everyone knows what needs to be done and continues to do it. The sponsored products are provided by Hormel, Sam’s Club, Lawler’s Cheese Cakes, Blue Bell Cremery, Black-Eyed Pea, Luby’s, Golden Corral, Top Hat Catering, Scott Demasi/McCarty and Bertrand’s. The following sponsors provide monetary support to purchase a specific food item: Humble Community Bank, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Waste Management, Humble Lions Club, Robert Scarfo, DT Construction, Ward Business, Embarq, Kingwood Rotary and Italiano’s Restaurant. Other sponsors donating their services included: City of Humble, Extension Nineteen, Humble Lions Club, Kingwood Garden Club, Humble Fire Department, Humble ISD, Citizens Bank, Digital Network, Spirit Exposition, Clint Johnson and Rick Alspaugh. Entertainment was provided by Greg Smith, Larry Thompson, Faith Osborn and Laura Nielson. Lois Bean, a committee member, said it takes approximately 250 volunteers to serve the food. She said some of the food is precooked by local restaurants, then warmed on site; other food items are cooked at the event. “This year everyone’s money is tight,” said Bean. “But it doesn’t cost you anything to volunteer and whatever you do, whether it is serving food or clearing tables, helps to make things nice for someone else. I love that.” She said she enjoys talking with diners on the day of the event. She said volunteering is a way to impact their lives in a positive way. “Everyone participates in the event,” said Gardner. “School children make holiday place mats. Humble ISD provides the equipment to keep the food warm and the City of Humble provides a place to gather.” For more information, visit www.humblethanksgiving.org. Photo: The Humble Thanksgiving Feast Committee members are, from left, Jack Davis, Juanita Steagall, Bonnie Gardner, Shirley Riggins, Georgia McMannes, Sharon Mittag, JoAnn Gardner and not pictured, Lois Bean and Luretta Darden. Photo Kathy Park

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