Eating or serving, all are fulfilled at church's Thanksgiving dinner COUNTYWIDE

November 26, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

For the first time, Kimberly Neumann found herself alone over the Thanksgiving holiday. So the 22-year-old Gingerville resident decided to do something she had never tried before. She helped feed the needy.

Yesterday, she was one of about 50 volunteers helping to serve traditional fare to about 250 people at the Asbury United Methodist Church on West Street in Annapolis.

"I called around to several places, and all they needed was money or food donations," said Ms. Neumann, whose family is in England for a year. "But I wanted to make myself useful."

She was useful scooping stuffing onto plates already laden with turkey, potatoes, green beans, sauerkraut and apple sauce, while others sliced up pumpkin and applie pies for dessert.

The feast was sponsored by Goodwill Industries for the third year in a row.

"I think this was originally started for the homeless," said Doris Rodbell, supervisor of the Goodwill store on West Street. "But now we are working with the disabled and handicapped, too."

Tickets to the dinner were distributed at several locations in the area, including city hall offices, churches and shelters.

"We wanted to do more for the community," said Dan Driscoll, Goodwill's director of communications. "We have been sponsoring a dinner for the needy in Baltimore for 37 years. And this is a way to pay back the residents of the community for their support here."

Mr. Driscoll said the Annapolis program is expanding, with more than a dozen area businesses donating door prizes this year. There was a $100 savings bond from Maryland National Bank. There were flowers from Penny Lane Flowers in Annapolis and a gift certificate from Pearl's restaurant.

"We want to create a festive atmosphere here," Mr. Driscoll said.

Yesterday, the church's first floor auditorium was decorated with balloons and cardboard Thanksgiving turkeys. A man in one corner of the large, open room played guitar and sang, but his music was drowned in the din of people talking, chairs scraping and pots and pans banging in the kitchen.

Santa Claus showed up to pass out pens and coloring books to the children.

Steam covered the windows as guests lined up for their food and sat down to eat from paper plates with plastic forks at long banquet tables clothed in pale yellow.

And if the meal wasn't enough, the guests took home goody bags with extra fruit and cookies for dessert.

"This has been great," said Bessie Knight, a parishioner at Asbury church. "I won a quilt."

Mrs. Knight brought along her 6-year-old great-granddaughter, but the youngster preferred a tuna fish sandwich to turkey.

L "I guess she is saving her appetite for tomorrow," she said.

Angela Jones, 29, another Annapolis resident, said she has come every year since the dinner started. Yesterday she brought her niece, Flontina Brown, 9, and son John Neal Jr., 3, with her.

The children almost ignored the food as they played with the pens and coloring books.

County Executive Robert R. Neall put in a brief appearance at the dinner, staying about 10 minutes.

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