Family feeds all takers in Thanksgiving tradition at St. Vincent Grove
By Stacey Federoff
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 8:37 p.m.
The hustle and bustle of feeding 200 people on Thanksgiving Day doesn't intimidate the 15 to 20 members of the Holnaider family and volunteers who will prepare the holiday meal on Thursday at St. Vincent Grove.
Bonita Sisak said that beginning on Wednesday, she, her mother and sisters work on chopping vegetables and making stuffing while her father and brothers clean the eight turkeys for the dinner.
There is an order to the chaos, which has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition, since Diana and Bruno Holnaider and their eight children, along with their families, started it 18 years ago.
The dinner is meant for anyone alone on the holiday, as it has been from the beginning, Sisak said, to impart the caring taught to her and her siblings.
“My parents have instilled in us we should share what we have,” Sisak said. “The holidays aren't just about gifts; it's about spending time together, and that's what we try to teach our own kids.”
Pat Conroy, a retired Greater Latrobe teacher, has volunteered with the family, dishing out free helpings of turkey, stuffing and potatoes for about eight or nine years with his wife, Mary Ann.
About 150 meals are served at 300 Fraser Purchase Road, while Conroy and other volunteers deliver about 50 meals to senior citizens and taxi some to the dinner.
Doors open at 11 a.m., when diners can munch on appetizers before the meal is served between noon and 12:30 p.m.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at 331 Weldon St. in Latrobe also holds a free Thanksgiving Day dinner at noon Thursday.
“We're all doing it for the same reason,” Sisak said, praising the church volunteers.
At the Grove, much of the food and funding for the dinners is donated by parishioners of the St. Vincent Basilica parish. Sisak uses the rest of the donations to give each attendee a small door prize.
Live entertainment caps off the festive atmosphere, where Conroy is as happy to help out as those digging into mashed potatoes are happy for the homecooked meal, he said.
“I personally feel that we're all here to serve one another, and we should do that as often as we can,” he said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.