Delano residents are bringing back the free Thanksgiving community luncheon later this month, but organizers still need volunteers to help make it happen for the event scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Local businessmen Tony Martinez Sr. and Dalip Singh started the tradition back in 1986 that lasted about three decades.
After a two-year hiatus, the community Thanksgiving day event is back on at Tony’s Firehouse restaurant in Delano, thanks to a steering committee of local leaders.
Singh, former owner of Singh GMC of Delano, plans on being at the community event. Martinez Sr. passed away earlier this summer. The first two years the meal was held at the dealership, and then it moved to the Delano Armory, which is now closed to public functions.
Art Armendariz, a Delano Joint Union High School board trustee and aide for District 4 Supervisor David Couch, said volunteers are still needed for the meal, which is expected to feed about 1,000 people.
Couch is expected to be on hand helping out also.
Although geared for the needy and those with no means to celebrate the holiday, it is really open to everyone, especially those older folks who may not have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with, Armendariz said. “And if you want, afterward, you still have time to go home and have Thanksgiving dinner with your family.”
The County Line restaurant’s parking lot will be transformed with white tents and tables for the occasion. If inclement weather occurs, eating and serving could be done inside Tony’s Firehouse.
The tents will be donated by Delano Regional Medical Center.
The Delano Elementary School District is donating mashed potatoes and gravy. The Delano Joint Union High School District is donating stuffing and green beans.
Residents and businesses also donated food and other supplies. Volunteers will help serve the 120 turkeys expected to be specially deep-pitted by several former Delano city employees: Gilbert Martinez, Roy Castillo, Pete Nebre and Art Medina.
Those wanting to volunteer should contact Armendariz at 661-586-2001 or Ginda Adkins, of the Delano Chamber of Commerce, at 661-586-2391.