Sometimes it’s not about whether or not you are less
fortunate. Sometimes it’s all about giving back to the less fortunate, giving
back to the community and being a part of something much greater.
That's why Sharran Chambers-Murphy and her daughter decided to volunteer Thursday at the free Thanksgiving dinner at the Manor East catering hall.
“I asked my daughter what she wanted to do on Thanksgiving
this year and she said she wanted to work,” Chambers-Murphy said. “Last year, we were guests. But this year, we wanted to do something more. It’s a great organization and we have a good time.”
Manor East hosted a lavish full course Thanksgiving dinner
with all the trimmings to about 2,500 people Thursday at the catering hall. Guests were also treated to many raffle prizes, games and a D.J. for entertainment at the fourth annual dinner hosted by owner Richard Bivona .
“We won’t accept donations or outside money,” he said. “Checks
are turned away. I tell [people who want to donate] to give the money to church or other charities. But we [serve people food] all year around. If someone is knocking on the door and they’re hungry, we won’t turn them away. This isn’t just for Thanksgiving. We do this seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
Bivona said he has been hosting a dinner for the past four
years and he enjoys treating the community to a gourmet meal. “I serve food that I would eat myself,” he said. “My chefs have been here cooking about 70 hours straight. In fact, this is where I’m going to have my Thanksgiving dinner.”
Bivona said the people of Massapequa have been very
receptive and appreciative to have a place to have a great meal and fellowship with the community. But people all over Long Island and throughout the city have also been touched by this event.
“People come from Massapequa, but even as far out as the
Bronx and the city have come to eat too.”
Marta Kuch came from the North Shore to share in the holiday
meal. She said this is the second year she has eaten at Manor East because her family doesn’t live on Long Island. She said it is such a blessing to have a nice place to gather with friends and the community to share Thanksgiving.
“He’s very blessed,” Kuch said about Bivona. “And it’s
wonderful that he’s taking the time to bless other people.”