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Mt. Pleasant church to hold Thanksgiving meal

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 10:15 p.m.

For the 13th year, members of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mt. Pleasant are inviting members of the community to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with them.

“The main focus of this event is for people to have a place to go where they can be with others and not be alone,” said Wanda Permuka of Mt. Pleasant, the church's council president. “Holidays can be lonely times and we want provide a warm, friendly place where people can come and enjoy meeting new friends or connecting with those they have met there before.”

The goal of the event is to provide that kind of atmosphere along with a good meal, she added.

The free meal will be served at the church located at 822 W. Main St. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Permuka said volunteers serve between 160 and 180 people from the Mt. Pleasant area each year.

“There are a core group of people who do not have family and have no place to go on Thanksgiving, so this has become their family,” said the Rev. Karen Thompson, pastor of the church. “It's free and open to everyone. It's not about the money; it's about the social aspect.”

Those who attend will partake in a traditional Thanksgiving meal made by members of the church and Kings Pointe Catering of Tarrs.

The feast will include turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls/bread & butter.

A selection of pies will be available for dessert.

Beverages consist of coffee, hot tea, iced tea, orange drink and water.

For those who are unable get to the event on their own, transportation is available within a five-mile radius.

Those in need should call 724-547-5941 to arrange a pick up time.

At least 75 volunteers from the church, the local community and as far away as Charleroi, Donegal, Scottdale and Greensburg give of their time each year to make this event happen, Permuka said.

She added that several local businesses and churches donate funding and supplies. It will be the third year Noah Ponko, 13, of Mt. Pleasant will volunteer at the event.

While other kids his age are playing with their cousins or watching football on television, Ponko will be helping out in the dining room by taking drink orders.

“I think it's really great that the church does that and I like to be part of it,” Ponko said. “I like seeing all the people being happy and talking with each other. You usually don't see somebody not happy at the Thanksgiving Day meal.”

Those interested in volunteering the day of the event can call the church at 724-547-5941.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.