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Community Thanksgiving Dinner set for Sunday

By Staff | Nov 9, 2017

Area residents who don’t want to spend Thanksgiving alone don’t have to.

Re/Max Realty Team, along with Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation and other local businesses, will hold the third-annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum at 4820 Leonard St.

Everyone is invited, but a special emphasis will be placed on veterans, public safety personnel, senior citizens, families in need and anyone who might otherwise be alone for the holiday.

Mike Hollow, of Re/Max Realty, said SC Custom Homes and Bubba’s Roadhouse are also generous partners, with Bubba’s owner Jay Johnson doing the cooking.

“We all got together to help put on this dinner. We were targeting veterans, the elderly and anyone who would be alone for the holidays, but now we’ve opened it up to anyone in the county,” Hollow said. “We don’t want anyone alone for the holidays.”

The event is done early intentionally as a way to bring the community together. It is also being done at the museum for the first time, and for good reason, Hollow said.

“In the past couple years, any of the food that was left over was donated to the veterans foundation. We’ve always had a great relationship with Ralph Santillo,” Hollow said. “This year, we offered to host it there so the museum can get some notoriety and we don’t have to shuffle food.”

Johnson will be cooking dozens of turkeys, along with stuffing, yams, sweet potatoes and much more.

Hollow said they expect to serve more than 1,000 people as the food is served around noon. He expects people to come and go throughout the event, making seating a little easier, though he added if they need additional room outside under a tent, he will make that happen.

“We’ll need a little more seating in the museum, and we’ll have to shuffle some things around, but we’ll make it work,” Hollow said. “I don’t care if I have to set up picnic tables in the parking lot. If someone wants dinner, I’ll deliver it to them.”

Joshua Jones, a director at the foundation, said such a partnership is a win-win.

“We’re thrilled to host any event that helps people in need. Our focus is the veteran community, but this is an opportunity for Re/Max to come in and help those in need,” Jones said. “Re/Max has a better marketing reach than we do, so anything we can do to raise awareness is a win.”

Food will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until they run out.

For more information, visit realtyteamswfl.com or call 443-1072.