Members of the public were treated to dinner and a show at the 34th annual Thanksgiving dinner put on by the Pismo Beach Police Officers Association Nov. 22.
Tables filled up quickly at the festively decorated Veterans Memorial Hall. Patrons grabbed plates of Thanksgiving dinner and chose from a selection of desserts.
Members of the police officers association spent many hours preparing for the big day, which included more than 2,000 pounds of turkey, 1,500 pounds of potatoes, 35 cases of stuffing, 20 cases of broccoli and 10 cases of cranberry sauce.
“We serve the community every day in a different way. This is a time we get to serve them as just part of the community,” Police Chief Jake Miller said. “We hope if someone doesn’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving or can’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner, [that they] come here. It’s what it’s for.”
Miller named a long list of volunteer organizations, businesses and community-minded individuals who helped make the event possible.
“It really does take a community to put this on and we appreciate their help,” he said.
Longtime volunteer Shirley Albrecht was instrumental in organizing live entertainment for the event.
“This is a great way to draw people in,” Albrecht said. “This way people can eat and hang out and enjoy this festive atmosphere.”
For Albrecht and her mother, the PBPOA Thanksgiving has become their official holiday celebration.
“I used to take my mom to the Caribbean around this time of year, but now I schedule around it. I don’t dare miss this,” Albrecht said. “I get the privilege of hugging people that come in the door. It’s wonderful to be able to welcome people. We have a lot of veterans and homeless who really appreciate the community atmosphere. This community wants to be involved, and it wants to give back.”
Among the many volunteers serving food was the Rotary Interact Club from Arroyo Grande High School. Club President Stephanie Sun said this was her fourth year serving at the dinner.
“The whole point on the Interact Club is community service. So this is our opportunity to get involved and help give back to the community,” she said.
Story and photos by Justin Stoner