By Alice Gerard
Family, friends, health, and life are among things for which diners at Island Presbyterian Church's community Thanksgiving dinner are grateful.
They also enjoy all of the different foods that make up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The food they like the best include turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, duck, gravy, cauliflower, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash, and cornbread stuffing. One diner, Faye Popiel went back to a food that she enjoyed in her childhood. Her favorite Thanksgiving food, she said, is pig's stomach. Bill Wilson said that he especially likes Pat Pullano's cranberry sauce.
A smorgasbord of Thanksgiving food.
Some diners talked about how they like their food prepared. Daisy Moore said that she likes stuffing made with stale bread squished into milk, with celery, onions, and melted butter. Missy Wilson said that she likes dry stuffing.
For some of the diners, relationships were the things for which they were most grateful. Bill Wilson said he was thankful for his health and his family. His wife, Barb Wilson, said she was thankful that her family was together for Thanksgiving. Their son David and daughter-in-law Missy Wilson both said that they were thankful for their 14-month-old daughter, Grace. The Wilsons' daughter, Becky Mason, said that she was thankful for her family and her health. Her four daughters, Julia, 7, Audrey, 8, Laura, 11, and Molly, 14, all said that they were thankful for family and friends. Lou D'Orazio also said that he is thankful for family and friends. Al Bouley expressed thanks for his family.
Faye Popiel said that she was thankful for her family. Her daughter, Becky Popiel, said, "I am thankful for my family and for having my mom with me."
Sue Whitbeck said that she is thankful for her family and added, "The older we get, the more thankful we are."
Some of the diners were thankful for their health. Daisy Moore said that she was thankful for good health. Ray Whitbeck said, "I am thankful that I am alive and healthy." Dorothy Bitner said, "I am thankful for the good health that I have."
Some of the diners were thankful for their faith and for their nation. Don Lewis said, "I am thankful for my wife, our health, our friends, and our country that we live in." Evelyn Lewis said, "I am thankful for family and friends and the hopes of having peace in the world."
George Jakab said that he is thankful to have a good wife, a good home, good kids, a good church, good health, and life. Kathy Jakab said, "The good thing in my life is Christ. Then you can handle all the other stuff. I am thankful that I am here today."
Mary Stewart said, "I am thankful for having Jesus in my heart."
Island Presbyterian Church Pastor Carla Kline offers a blessing before the meal.
Don and Evelyn Lewis enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
Michael J. Owen, who is a retired U.S. Navy journalist, said, "I am thankful for family, friends, and for being safe living in America. I am thankful for all of our military stationed around the world and am hoping that they're having a safe Thanksgiving and are enjoying lots of good chow."
Education and work were also subjects of thanksgiving. Candy Bouley said that she was thankful her grandson Zach Winker is doing well in school. Winker, 11, is in the sixth grade. He said he likes school and that he is thankful that he has two nice teachers. "School is fun," Zach said. His mother, Tina Winker, said, "I am thankful for my new job at a primary doctor's office."
Jim Pedlow said that he is thankful that his son, who has autism and an intellectual disability, lives in "a wonderful group home on Grand Island and goes to an excellent day habilitation program." He said that his son loves his day habilitation program and that he is happy.
Jean Wholahan, who celebrated her 101st birthday Dec. 2, said that she is thankful that her three sons are employed.
A few people expressed thanksgiving for the dinner itself. "I am thankful to Island Presbyterian Church for opening their doors for all to enjoy fellowship and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner," Evelyn Lewis said.
Candy Bouley added that she was also thankful for being able to share Thanksgiving dinner at Island Presbyterian Church with Evelyn and Don, "grandma and grandpa" Lewis.
Suzanne Grafinger and her son-in-law Kyle Vuchak deliver homemade pecan pies.
At left, David, Missy, and 14-month-old Grace Wilson.