They ran out of pumpkin pie, but nothing else was in short supply atthe Columbia Patuxent Rotary Club's second annual Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday at the Columbia Hilton.
The dinner was the Rotary Club's holiday gift to about 300 elderly and needy county residents, who feasted on a traditional turkey dinner.
Dinner guests included residents of the homeless shelters at Grassroots and Citizens Against Spousal Assault, members of the Howard County Association for Retarded Citizens, residents of Vantage Place and many county seniors.
It took about 75 volunteers, including Rotary Club members, their families and members of Columbia Cub Scout Pack 838, to put the dinner together.
"We just saw a need for it," said event chairman Bernard Raum. "For some people, this is their only outing for the entire year. We thought it would be a great idea to get people together."
Local businesses donated food for the dinner, and Raum and fellow Rotary amateur chefs took over the Columbia Hilton's kitchen Saturday to cook 17 20-pound turkeys.
Volunteer servers, including County Executive Charles I. Ecker, dished up hot turkey dinners to the crowd.
Judging by the number of satisfied diners, the Rotarians can be proud of their culinary skills.
"It's wonderful. The sauerkraut is out of this world," said Bonnie Wymer, who attends the county's Elkridge nutrition site for seniors.
Wymer's daughter, Elaine Flemion, manager of the nutrition site, also enjoyed the early holiday celebration.
"It's so nice of them to donate food and their time to put all this together," she said.
Rose Marc came to the dinner with her sister, a resident of a Columbia group home forseniors.
"I think they did a fantastic job for those who don't have much at any other time of the year," Marc said.
The evening didn't end with dinner, though. After the meal, local musical groups Columbia Pro Contare and the Elkridge Sweet Adelines performed for the guests.
The entertainment began with an impromptu rendition of the hymn "Amazing Grace," sung by dinner guest, 79-year-old Laura Sims, who attends the Elkridge nutrition site.
At the end of evening, hard-working volunteers got a chance to sample the left-over turkey. After serving dinner to 300 people, they were tired but happy.
Cub Scout Ryan Eargle, 7, said it as well as anyone.
"It's nice, becauseyou're helping people out; I just like it."