Annual community Thanksgiving meal in Vale canceled this year

The annual Thanksgiving meal in Vale was cancelled Monday after a broken water pipe at the Diamond Back Grill left organizers without a suitable location for the event, according to the group spearheading the effort. (The Enterprise/File photo)

VALE – The annual Thanksgiving meal in Vale has been canceled, organizers announced Monday.

The event has traditionally been held at the old Starlite restaurant, now the home of the Diamond Back Grill. The Grill owners had planned to continue the tradition, but a broken water pipe put an end to that plan this week.

Community organizers hoped to move the meal to a new location, but the logistics proved too great an obstacle and as of Monday the event was cancelled.

“The Ministerial Association that has been spearheading the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for years and years met up and has talked to all the different venues – schools, churches – and there were too many logistical issues,” said volunteer Cathy Zacharias. “Due to food safety issues and the fact that we are so close to Thanksgiving there wasn’t going to be enough time after all.”

Zacharias said that none of the locations had everything the group needed to pull off the event. The group hopes to host the annual Christmas meal, though Zacharias said that is currently up in the air as well. 

She added that donated turkeys and meat could be saved for that event or donated to the Food Bank, as per the donors’ wishes. 

“We were still going to provide the breakfast and the cooks,” said Cammie Bashon, owner of the Diamond Back Grill, but a suitable location remains the issue.

A sign-up sheet at the restaurant had gathered several names. 

A handful of locals had already committed to bringing desserts and side dishes or to help out with serving meals.

Bashon said the Diamond Back could potentially remain closed until mid-December. 

“It could be three weeks according to insurance and contractors,” she said. 

There are several community meals elsewhere in the area. These include:

COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING MEAL – First Christian Church, 180 NW 1st St., Ontario. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers needed. Reach out to Pastor Culley: 541-212-6174.

NYSSA COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING – Nyssa Senior Center, 316 Good Ave. Start: 11 a.m.

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