Locals bring Thanksgiving dinner to those in need

COVID restrictions stopped dinner at St. Anne’s, but Thanksgiving goes on

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Leisure World distribution volunteers from left to right: Michael Strout, Stacy Strout, Brian Harmon, Jim (LW security), Karen Kuns and Kathleen O’Connor.

On Monday, November 30, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Seal Beach Lions joined forces with Seal Beach Pavilions to distribute and deliver 136 meals to local families in need.

For 40 years, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Anne’s Church in Old Town, Seal Beach on Thanksgiving Day. This year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the gathering of 130+ locals celebrating Thanksgiving together was not in the cards, but that didn’t halt the giving spirit of the Seal Beach community. Just days before the 41st anniversary of the beloved event, nearly 20 volunteers came together to give struggling families something to be thankful for.

“The generosity of our community members, the school district and local organizations, including Pavilions and Boeing, was heartwarming at a time when so many families are struggling with loss of income and depression,” said Deb Machen, who chaired the event.

For several weeks, Seal Beach Pavilions encouraged customers to give a little extra at the cash register and the response was overwhelming.

The funds raised from the community, as well as a generous donation by Boeing in Seal Beach, provided 136 complete Thanksgiving dinners for local families in need.

The festive dinners included a choice of turkey, ham or prime rib, with traditional sides, meat and cheese platters and dinner rolls.

While Pavilions customers were selflessly donating to the cause, advertising was provided at no cost, by Sun Newspapers and the Leisure World Weekly to inform the community of the opportunity to receive the dinners. The Los Al Unified School District Administration and Principals from all 9 schools also shared the opportunity with families who could use a little help during this difficult time.

Karen Kuns and Derek Moore Co-Chaired the event with Machen and led efforts to distribute dinners in Leisure World and deliver meals to those who could not pick them up. Four drivers delivered 26 meals to the homes of local families. The remaining 110 meals were distributed at Leisure World and McGaugh Elementary School by 6 volunteers at each site.

This gift to the community couldn’t be done without all of the volunteer support from the Seal Beach Lions, Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, generous community donations and Chamber Admin McKenze Treasure and Los Al USD Administrative Assistant Lisa Wallace, who worked with the recipients of the dinners.

Oranizers thanked Seal Beach for making this a Thanksgiving for which we can all be truly thankful.