BELFAST – Each Thanksgiving, Belfast residents have a way to not just serve a hot meal to someone who might need it, but to raise money for foster families in the process.
“It’s just fun to meet new friends when you have an event like this,” said Earl Meola, while eating dinner.
Traci’s Diner in downtown Belfast served up Thanksgiving dinner Thursday with a little help from the local Red Knights Motorcycle Club.
The dinner is free, with donations going to “Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine”.
Volunteers said the meal comes at the perfect time of year.
“Last year we were giving the money to Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, and they had no more money for Christmas presents. So it worked out great for them,” said Andrew Corbin, the president of the Red Knights Maine Chapter 9.
The Red Knights have organized the event for six years now, so it’s a mix of new faces and diner regulars who attend.
“I have friends that tell me every year that they’ll see me here,” said Ron Wellman, vice president of the local chapter.
“The fact they’re raising money for a good cause, we live in Norridgewock,” said Nancy Meola, about why she attends the dinner.
And while Norridgewock and Belfast aren’t exactly close, some we spoke with were spending the weekend from New Jersey.
Lorie Meola said she was attending for a, “combination of a great cause, some great food, and a great time for the community to gather together.”
Event organizers said it depends on the weather, but 50 to 100 people come every year, raising as much as $1,000.
So whether you’re a pumpkin or apple pie kind of person, it’s an event that unites people.
“I just like helping people,” said Willoe Kirkpatrick, helping to serve food.
“They love it, and actually we get a lot more people that want to volunteer that like last year had come to the dinner and now they want to find ways to help out,” said Traci Mailloux, the owner of Traci’s Diner.