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Thanksgiving dinner for everyone

"Photo: After chef Tom Arhontas cooks the turkey (or ham or lamb), Jamie Canby and other volunteers will drive complete Thanksgiving dinners to shut-ins and people who have to work on the holiday.Jim Larsen/staff photoUsing lingo appropriate to the military nature of the American Legion, you might say that Thanksgiving hunger and loneliness will be attacked on two fronts tomorrow.South Whidbey Post 141 volunteers, headed by cook Dick McClellan, will be serving sit-down dinners to anyone in the community who wants to come to the Legion Hall on Highway 525 in Bayview from 2-5 p.m. McClellan said he expects to serve some 200 dinners and there’s plenty of food and help to accommodate the crowd. Anyone who wants to join others in a Thanksgiving meal of turkey or ham with all the trimmings is welcome. There is no charge, but donations may be made if desired. Reservations are requested but not mandatory. Call 321-5696. Meanwhile, chef Tom Arhontas will oversee a crew of five mobile delivery people working out of the full kitchen at the school district’s bus barn. Arhontas will cook turkey, ham and lamb dinners, then dispatch his mobile crew throughout South Whidbey.A service originally intended only for shut-ins, Arhontas said he has so much food and so many volunteers that dinners are now available for anyone who works for the public on Thanksgiving Day. Plans are to bring dinners to the Whidbey Telephone Company operators, for example. And other public servants, such as police and fire personnel and ferry workers, only have to ask and a Thanksgiving dinner will be delivered. Call 341-2539 as late as 10 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.One of the delivery volunteers, Jamie Canby, is a Navy retiree who said he and his wife Laura and 7-year-old son Jimmy will enjoy helping others on Thanksgiving. He knows what it’s like to be lonely and have people send you food, an experience he had on board ship in the Mediterranean. “People from middle America send you things, and you don’t even know who they are,” he said. “It’s very, very nice.” Now, he wants to return some of that generosity.Arnhontas emphasized that the American Legion’s Thanksgiving effort is for everyone, not just veterans. “It’s for the whole community,” he said. “It takes all of us working together as Americans.”"

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