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Lathrop Rotary provides Thanksgiving dinner
Steve Dresser mixes up some soup during the Lathrop Sunrise Rotary community dinner Thursday. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
LATHROP – George Domingo knew that he couldn’t suggest a community service opportunity for the Lathrop High School Interact Club – the Rotary-based youth organization of which he is president – without volunteering to help himself.

And on Thursday, Domingo put his money where his mouth was – showing up at the Lathrop Community Center at 6:30 a.m. to set-up the room for the Rotary community Thanksgiving meal, and carve the turkeys that would be served.

“I got my club to volunteer to do this, and I knew that I couldn’t stay home,” said Domingo. “It’s good to have a sense of community and see so many people coming together like this. It gives everyone a sense of how fortunate we all are to have something like this.”

Preparations for the meal began early Thursday morning with the setting up of the community dining room and the early stages of cooking the standard Thanksgiving dinner – turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, and salad.

With people already enjoying the home cooked meal, Lathrop Rotarian Steve Dresser took the downtime to ready the soup that was being served before the next wave of visitors poured through the doors.

“Normally we do Thanksgiving baskets, but we figured we could serve a lot more people if we prepared the food ourselves,” said Dresser. “What’s great about this is it gives people a place to go if they don’t have any family in the area. Our course we do this for the less fortunate as well, but we also do this because that’s what people in a community do for each other.”
The Sunrise Rotary solicited donations from private donors and local businesses, and used their own funds to purchase the rest of the ingredients necessary to make Thursday’s event a success.

“I think that it’s really nice that there are places like this for people to go to if they don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Lathrop resident George Zimmerman. “It’s good for the people who might not be able to purchase their own Thanksgiving dinner. I think it’s great that they’re doing this.”