“We’re very blessed with the people that we have here,” said Bannon. “And this is just a good story, it’s a great thing for us to do for people here in our town, in our community because there are people who are very hungry here — right here where we live.”
Among the food served on Sunday afternoon were 100 pounds of turkey, 40 pounds of ham, and several pounds of mac and cheese and potatoes. Also, while 22 turkeys were raffled off for families to take home, Bannon said all of those attended received a turkey or a ham if they wanted one.
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Sandy Campbell, a Gina’s employee who volunteered Sunday afternoon at the dinner, said she was awestruck by the outpouring of donations and volunteering of more than 75 people to help the hundreds that attended.
“I got the chills,” she said as she looked over items donated by the patrons of six Hamilton-area businesses. “It just warms my heart.”
Martha Murnahan, of Hamilton, attended Sunday’s dinner. She knows what it is like to struggle, and was briefly homeless.
“I’m here to help out. It has been us before,” Murnahan said. “We’ve had hard times and there was no one to turn to.”
Bannon said every person that he and others helped on Sunday are “people with families, hard-working people, that just fall a little bit short.”
“We take a lot of things for granted. Lots of us have enough and are blessed to have enough, but we don’t know what it’s like not to be able to bowl or to not to see your kids eat like the way we want them to,” Bannon said. “That’s today, that’s what this is all about. Come out, be a part of this.”
Next year’s event is planned to be bigger, he said. Bannon said additional businesses have contacted him about wanting to be a part of the dinner.
Any money or food remaining from Sunday’s dinner will be donated to organizations that help people every day.