Volunteer Anna Tomelloso, right, hands a plate of food to Bob Ross, left, at Mission Solano's Thanksgiving Feast at the Fairfield Community Center Thursday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Free dinners offer food, fellowship and fun

By From page A1 | November 23, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Hawaiian dancers, contemporary Christian tunes, food servers and free coats.

And, of course, turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings were served up at the 14th annual Mission Solano Thanksgiving dinner.

Food had been prepared for about 25o people. There were just about as many volunteers.

“It’s a good thing to have too many volunteers,” said Donna Quintero, Mission Solano’s community relations manager.

Just before welcoming the diners, Ron Marlette, Mission Solano’s executive director, reflected on the journey to Thanksgiving 2012.

“It’s amazing to see what Mission Solano has become in this community,” he said.

A blessing is what Tammy Ramos feels. She stopped by to eat the feast and pick up a new coat.

“I am very grateful,” she said.

Larry Noble and his daughter Sabrina Noble joined a family friend who didn’t wish to give his name.

“It’s about being around friends and family,” said Sabrina Noble.

She might not have been able to have a Thanksgiving dinner if not for Mission Solano. Currently, Noble lives in a friend’s motor home.

“It’s a good thing they do this for the people,” Larry Noble said.

One local family rekindled a tradition that began years ago in Oakland when Beverly Blakeney used to take her daughter to help feed the homeless on the streets. This year, it was granddaughter Jaida Bowen’s turn to give back.

“It’s a good experience for us to get out and help the less fortunate,” said Erica Bowen, Blakeney’s daughter.

Her husband Craig Bowen wanted his 9-year-old daughter to learn while doing. They would have their own feast later in the day.

Maria Martinez was accompanied to the dinner by her children, Jose Martinez, 10, and Lupe Martinez, 11. It was the second year they participated in the holiday feast. While mom enjoyed the ham, Lupe’s thoughts were on pumpkin pie drenched in whipped cream. Her brother had visions of apple pie.

The Suisun Senior Center also served up a Thanksgiving meal. Eighteen turkeys were cooked to feed the crowd in the dining room, served by volunteers from the Suisun City Fire Department.

It was a family affair for Suzie Trail, her brother Keith Trail and sister Kathy Smith.

“I love coming here,” said Suzie Trail. “It’s fun getting out and socializing. I’m having so much fun.”

Leftovers were packaged and delivered to the shut-ins in the senior apartment complex near the center.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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