LATHROP – Cary Keaten wants to make sure that everybody in Lathrop has a chance to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
And as the president of the Lathrop Sunrise Rotary he’s getting the chance to oversee a community outreach effort that does just that.
Today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lathrop Senior Center will be open to anybody wishing to come down and enjoy a complete turkey dinner – absolutely free of charge. It’s the second year that the Rotarians have provided such a service, and it’s something that Keaten hopes will grow each successive year as one of the service organization’s banner events.
“Last year we had about 100 people come down, and we’re hoping to double that this year,” Keaten said. “Rotary is all about giving back to the community, and this is something that we’d love to see grow in the future.”
Through a variety of fundraisers held over the course of a year – including a fireworks stand that provided an influx of cash that helped partially bankroll both the Thanksgiving meal and he group’s scholarship funds – Lathrop’s Sunrise Rotarians are able to maintain their community outreach efforts.
But it’s the time that people in the community donate – and the handful of those that go out of their way to help add something special to the event – that help make the community dinner a true Lathrop function.
According to Keaten, the Lathrop High Interact Club will be on hand to help with the serving. Additional community volunteers will likely show up to lend a hand wherever possible.
Last year several families brought pies down to the Senior Center to do their part, and others brought food items to help supplement the meal cooked by Rotary members early Thursday morning.
“We’re going to have 26 students come down and help out, and there are going to be other areas where volunteers that might want to come down and help can do so,” Keaten said. “We make sure that the money that we raise gets distributed to the people in the community that need it, and this is just one way of doing that.
“We encourage anybody that doesn’t have a place to go to come down and join us. For the past couple of days we’ve had people call down to the Senior Center and RSVP, but the event itself is open and we’re hoping that it grows – that it meets the need of those in the community.”