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Boys and Girls Club invites community to Thanksgiving dinner

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The Boys and Girls Club will be hosting a free “first come first served” Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday.

“We have been given so much from many different individuals in the community and we wanted a way to give back and this is one way that we know we can help, is with a Thanksgiving dinner,” Natasha Welt, Roswell unit director of the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Blanca, said. “There’s such a need in our community for fellowship and community — and people are always wanting to get involved and help and this is one way that we would be able to give back is a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Welt said the community dinner will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the gym of the club at 201 S. Garden Ave. The doors will be open until around 7 p.m., she said, but the club will continue to serve if a lot of people continue to come to eat. At this time, the club is prepared to feed approximately 350 people.

“Just come out,” Welt said. “Come out and eat. You don’t have to be in need. You don’t have to be lacking. It is for community — straight up. That’s where we are sitting. We just want the community to just come out and just have a good night. Come and meet some new faces and see who we have here, and kind of just go from there.”

Welt and the staff have been preparing by getting the club ready and collecting donations from community partners to revive the dinner tradition. Welt said she has been receiving nonstop calls from people asking how to provide donations or how to offer assistance after the club sent out a letter in mid-October requesting particular items. From monetary donations to places to cook, Welt said the club’s dinner “lacks nothing.”

Welt said around 20 people from the club’s advisory council and other volunteers will be coming in and out with setting up and serving. She said she would accept volunteers all day.

Numerous community members and organizations have contributed to preparing for the dinner set for next week, including Roswell Sertoma Club, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Farmers Country Market, Youth ChalleNGe, Maddux Hobbs of the Cowboy Cafe, an anonymous donor of 50 pies, Burritos and More, Grace Community Church, Washington Avenue Elementary School’s food drive, Lila’s Ladybug Pest Control of Artesia, Peppers, Chili’s and more.

“I’m amazed by the outpouring of the community — the love that they have shown for this event …” Welt said. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that the community is just — they’re there and they’re ready to love and they’re ready to help and just outpour their time to us and the community that is going to come in to eat, so it’s awesome.”

For more information or questions, Jake Ramirez, advisory council and Thanksgiving dinner committee leader, can be reached at 575-910-1052, or Welt can be contacted at 575-914-5119. The club has also created a Facebook event titled ‘Thanksgiving Dinner For Everyone.’

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.