Shannon Daugherty gives instructions for putting pies and rolls into paper bags for Thursday's delivery.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The parish hall at All Saints Episcopal Church was abuzz with the activity of more than two dozen volunteers of all ages on Wednesday evening.
All the potato peeling, pie packaging and cranberry sauce portioning was in preparation to ensure nearly 200 local seniors would have a Thanksgiving feast this Thursday.
"Over 35 years, you just figure out a way to make it happen," coordinator Shannon Daugherty said, snapping her fingers. "We've got this down to a science."
The annual event is hosted by the church and plenty of parishioners volunteeer, but many of them are also related so it's become something of a family affair.
Daugherty's mother, Diane Bleau, spearheaded the effort and she has worked her way up through the ranks in a way, starting at the kids' table scooping out cranberry sauce into plastic cups.
"There's a lot of family here," she said, pointing to cousins, in-laws and children, and her sister in the office. "Our kids are all here ... we've got family and friends."
The tasks on Wednesday included peeling nearly 100 pounds of potatoes, slicing up some 30 pumpkin pies, bagging the pie slices and rolls to go with each meal. The turkeys and mashed potatoes are cooked on Thanksgiving morning along with stuffing, and peas and carrots that are then served assembly line style for delivery. The food is provided through donations and the Northern Berkshire United Way.
"My cousin and I will be down here about 5:30 tomorrow morning putting turkeys in the oven and ready, and then everybody else will show up around 11," Daugherty said.
The effort involves a host of volunteers who show up on Thanksgiving morning to sweep away the pre-served, homemade meals to people who have registered for a visit.
While their prepping to feed those with nowhere, they've made their own arrangements for family get-together once it's all over and done.
Daugherty said the numbers have dipped a little bit, and she thinks that's because the baby boomers has "popped." But they're prepared for any last-minute calls on Thursday morning.
"One year I think we had a homeless man was out front and we invited him in," she said. "It's not our main population, you know, but if someone's out there we can help, we will. ...
"The Police Department, the Fire Department, we call them too and send them meals if we have any."
Her cousin, Syid Uqdah, said if they have any leftovers, they have figure out what to do with them so it makes sense to offer them to people working on Thanksgiving.
"Whoever's in need, we're here to feed them," he said.
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Hunter College Snaps MCLA Men's Basketball's Winning Streak
MCLA Sports Information
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- MCLA's Noah Yearsley scored 26 points, but it wasn't enough as the men's basketball team saw their nine game winning streak snapped by Hunter College 84-79 Friday afternoon in non league action.
In the opening half, neither team led by more than six points as the Hawks (5-13) took a slim 41-39 lead into halftime. The same held true in the closing half, but with six minutes remaining, Hunter led 67-62. MCLA (12-5) responded with a 7-0 spurt to grab a 69-67 lead as Yearsley scored five points in the run, but still with five minutes left to play.
After trading leads over the next several minutes, Hunter took the lead for good on Melvin Collins' three point play with under two minutes remaining making it 77-74. MCLA's Ki-Shawn Monroe converted for two on the other end to get within a point, but George Keener's bucket and FT extended back to a four point edge with under a minute remaining.
Monroe cut it in half with 25 seconds left, but MCLA was forced to foul. Keener made three FT's down the stretch to preserve the win and end the Trailblazers winning streak.
Mark Steele-Knudslien, 49, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to second-degree murder in the death of his wife. Judge John Agostini sentenced him to life in state prison, with parole eligibility in 25 years.
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After a few days in the icebox, temperatures will be turning above freezing going into the weekend and there's a chance of snow — or more likely rain, as a storm system moves north of the Berkshires.
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The Finance Committee took a tour of the building on Tuesday afternoon to get a better sense of the condition of the J. Stanley Sullivan Elementary School as the City Council has been weighing an offer on the property made more than two months ago.
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Food insecurity, housing, child care, education, financial literacy, and substance abuse were among the subjects of the poverty forum sponsored by the Berkshire Community Action Council and hosted at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Friday morning.
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