BELFAST, Maine — More than 200 Waldo County veterans, their families and guests were treated to a turkey dinner Sunday during Frank D. Hazeltine American Legion Post 43’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
“Each year around Thanksgiving we always take a Sunday and our post brings in every veteran and their families and guests for a free turkey dinner,” post Commander Cliff Larrabee said. “I’ve had a dozen people want to pay me today, but I remind them all it’s free.”
Post chaplain Bill Pollock opened the dinner with a prayer giving special emphasis to the nation’s veterans and those in the armed services who are engaged in wars or serving their country in distant lands.
The women of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary were in charge of cooking the five 25-pound-plus turkeys at their homes while Legion members prepared the vegetables, peeling and cooking 50 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds of squash, 50 pounds of turnip, 40 pounds of onions and 40 pounds of peas. They also put out large salads, pickle trays, celery sticks and rolls. Twenty pies were baked for dessert.
Larrabee singled out past Commander Albert Aldus and legionnaires Bill “Cape Cod” Berrio and Wayne Cookson as the early arrivals who handled the logistics of putting the dinner together. Richard Pomeroy, of the Sons of the American Legion, also helped them out in the kitchen Sunday morning.
“We started planning this a month ago and it’s worked out fine,” Larrabee said. “We lined up a lot of volunteers and they all did their part. This is what we call a family day for giving thanks to our veterans, and we’re glad to have everybody stop by.”