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General Store offers free holiday meal

CHESTERTOWN Since 2005, the day before Thanksgiving each year has been a busy one for Doris Hensler, owner of the Chestertown General Store. Shes peeled potatoes, baked pies and readied turkeys for roasting, in preparation for her annual free Thanksgiving dinner for area residents of all ages those who have no where else to go for the holidays, or whose finances are stressed. This year, Henslers busy again with preparations, as the tradition continues for the fourth year. The dinner was launched when store employee Elaine Howard of Schroon Lake suggested the enterprise, noting the store had plenty of space and a full working kitchen. Since then, Hensler and several volunteers have annually gathered and worked to make it happen. In addition to roast turkey and stuffing, Hensler serves a variety of vegetables, including carrots, peas and cabbage. The dinner includes gluten-free specialties from Henslers kitchen, including pumpkin and chocolate cream pies, to accommodate those with celiac conditions, she said. The dinner begins at 1 p.m. sharp on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, Hensler said. We sit down at 1 p.m. and enjoy a traditional holiday meal together, she said. People really enjoy the socializing as well as the meal. People in the community help out in various ways. The Faith Bible Church in Chestertown loans tables and chairs for the event, with delivery included. Florence LaPoint has donated apple pies, and some people have contributed money, which Hensler has turned over to the local charity, The Helpers Fund, to aid people with various needs. Hensler is asking that all who plan on attending call her at 321-7555 as soon as possible so she can make appropriate preparations.

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