Delivering turkey and pie with a smile: Elks hold free Thanksgiving meal
TOWN OF DELAVAN—A good day starts with pie.
A better day includes the prospect of more pie.
And the best day of all includes delivering pie—and other Thanksgiving treats—to other people with the potential for yet another slice of pie at home.
On Thursday, more than 20 Boy Scout and Cub Scouts and their families spent a good part of the day delivering food across Walworth County as part of the Walworth-Lakeland Elks Lodge's annual, free Thanksgiving dinner.
While the scouts were on the road, volunteers staffed a serving line of the free meals held at the hall at Community Park in the town of Delavan.
This is the seventh year for the event. Each year it gets bigger, said Patti Marsicano, one of the organizers.
For the first six years the dinner was held at the Elks Lodge. As the event grew, the decision was made to move it to the hall at the Community Park, Marsicano said. Not only is it a larger building, but it is also down the road from the Village Supper Club, which is owned by Patti's husband, Chris Marsicano, and his brother, Dave Marsicano.
“If we need anything, we can just run down there to get it,” Patti Marsicano said.
Patti, Chris and others saw the meal as a way to provide company for people who don't have any place to go on the holiday, and to fill a service gap.
“We found out that Meals on Wheels does not deliver on Thursday or Friday of Thanksgiving,” Marsicano said.
Meals on Wheels also does not provide meals on the weekends.
“We thought, 'maybe there is a need,' and we thought we'd try it and see,” she said. “We didn't realize how many people were just sitting at home by themselves.”
Last year, with the deliveries and the meals served in-house, the Elks served more than 400 people.
On Thursday, the deliveries alone added up to 279 dinners.
Cub Scout Pack 327 and Boy Scout Troop 328, both of Delavan, have been part of the event since the beginning. Walworth County Venture Crew, a Boy Scouts of America organization, also helps out.
“They understand that this is part of being in scouts,” said Brenda Warrenburg, Delavan, who was organizing the deliveries. “It's about giving of yourself.”
Scout Ashton Flores, 8, had been delivering Thanksgiving meals for three years.
He understands that delivering Thanksgiving meals means more that just giving people food.
“For some people, we'll be the only ones they see today,” Flores said.
Scouts Alex Weidner 8, and Alex Reynolds, 8, had been looking forward to the deliveries.
“I like carrying in the dinners,” Reynolds said.
Weidner said that one year someone gave him some Packer trading cards—there's a memory to hang on to.
Cub Scout Masion Russell, 7, was enthusiastic about helping with deliveries. It was his first year, and he had started the day by having a piece of pie at home.
Later, after the deliveries, he might have a meal and a piece a pie with other members of his troop at the hall.
And even later still, after the day was over, there might be more pie at home.
The Elks make sure there's enough to go around. This year, they'll provide 26, 24-pound turkeys, 110 pounds of ham, 250 pounds of potatoes, 200 pounds of yams, 100 pounds of dressing and dozens and dozens of pies.
“We really get a mix of people here,” said Marsicano said. “We've everybody from a lady wearing pearls to a family that looked like it might have fallen on hard times.”
Despite the work and the challenges, Marsicano said she and her volunteers enjoy themselves.
“It's a fun day,” she said. “I look forward to it all year.”