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Togetherness prevails at community Thanksgiving dinner

CHESTERTOWN - The holidays are for togetherness, so the axiom goes.

And at Thanksgiving, nearly two-dozen people turned out to experience the feeling during a Thanksgiving dinner held for the public at Chestertown General Store.

Folks who had no one to share the holiday experience with, and those who sought to make new friends had the opportunity thanks to volunteers and the owner of the store.

At the free turkey dinner, people were seated next to and across the table from strangers and potential new friends.

"The holidays can be such a lonely time if someone doesn't have anyone to spend time with," store owner/operator Doris Hensler said as she carried a steaming bowl of corn from the kitchen toward the table. "These occasions are all about spending time with people - not being alone."

This is the fourth year that Hensler and her many volunteers hosted the dinner, which included various donated pies, greens, potatoes and two 24-pound turkeys.

"This is how you know that people care," said Leonard Bradley, one of the 20 plus guests. "Times are tough for people these days - it's so nice to sit down with someone you have never met, share some food and make new friends."

For those who preferred to eat at home, take-out was available, but the vast majority shared Hensler's vision and participated in the sit-down dinner.

"This is what a community is all about," Hensler said. "I look forward to doing this for years to come."

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