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Center cooks up a Thanksgiving celebration

Community: Parkway Motorcars sponsors annual event

Posted: November 23, 2010 12:09 a.m.
Updated: November 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Robert Tegeda, 2, feeds his mother, Evelyn Tegeda, 31, who has three boys in total, at the Thanksgiving dinner in the Newhall Community Center on Monday. The annual dinner has been held the event for 14 years.

Outside of the Newhall Community Center on Monday night, restless children ran around near a long line, asking their parents how long they’d have to wait.

Those at the front, meanwhile, picked up their share of traditional Thanksgiving fare — for free.

It was the 14th annual Thanksgiving dinner provided to the local residents at the Newhall Community Center — and the third time in a row it was sponsored by  Parkway Motorcars.

More than 30 volunteers donated their time to help in hosting the event, giving more than 400 people a free Thanksgiving meal at the Newhall Community Center this year.

“It’s a great way of giving back to the community,” said Bob Bakshi, the CEO of Parkway Motorcars.

City Manager Ken Pulskamp said that it was an opportunity to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for economically disadvantaged families, many of which might not have their own Thanksgiving dinners.

The event was open to the public, and all sorts of people showed up, from the obviously needy to local families, whose kids participate in the Community Center’s clubs.

Evelyn Tegeda, 31, is a single mother of three boys. Her 15-year-old cousin volunteers at the Newhall Community Center; through him, she had learned about the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

“I am happy to bring my family here,” Tegeda said. “It shows how we can help each other within the community.”

World War II Veteran Nat Aboulafia, 85, said he is going to celebrate the Thanksgiving with his big family: two
children, four grandchildren and a great grandchild. But the holiday dinner in Newhall, he said, was a great way to bond with community members.

Aboulafia came to the event with his friend Harry Gratz, 92, a fellow World War II veteran.

“It was nice to share a meal together,” Aboulafia said.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,” said Pulskamp. “We have opportunity to think about what we have and what we should be grateful for.”


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