Community gathers for feast, camraderie
November 30, 2009
- Barracks and Single Soldiers
Members of the Fort McPherson community took time to give thanks and build camaraderie during the U.S. Army Garrison Office of the Chaplain's Barracks and Single Soldiers Thanksgiving feast Nov. 19.
The feast, held in Bldg. 61 on Fort McPherson, allowed diners to enjoy a varieties of meats, sides and desserts.
"The idea was to do an outreach to the whole community and get the whole community together," said Chap. (Capt.) Brad Godding, deputy garrison chaplain.
Such an idea is nothing new, said Sgt. Andrew Lewis, garrison chaplain assistant and noncommissioned officer in charge of the event, stating it is common to have B.A.S.S. dinners close to the holiday.
This year, the decision was made to open the event to the public to allow more people to enjoy the food.
"Being Thanksgiving, we wanted to extend this to everyone," Lewis said.
In keeping with this idea, the feast was scheduled at lunchtime, Godding said.
"I think we need to have occasions just to get together," said Chap. (Lt. Col.) Robert Phillips, garrison chaplain. "Sometimes, the only interaction we have with people is with business."
The lunch provided the chance to get to know others outside the context of business, Phillips said.
It also allowed people an opportunity to benefit single Soldiers, Godding said. Most of the food was donated by Civilian employees and the Soldiers attending, Godding said. Garrison directors were sent requests advertising the event and calling for donations, he added.
Congregation members of each of the three chapels on Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem - Fort Gillem's Post Chapel and Fort McPherson's Post Chapel and Cantonment Chapel - also donated items, Godding said.
"Many thanks to those who contributed dishes," Phillips said. He also gave special thanks to those volunteers who helped prepare the room and food, Angel's Catering for the meat, the chapel's director of religious education, Donna Craven, and the chapel's three religious education coordinators: Jan Ingram, Bernadette Survine and Mary Ann Kelly.
Phillips said the day accomplished what it set out to do. Two-hundred and twenty diners were served.
"Overall, it was a fun day, a time to relax with each other," he said. "It was an opportunity to come together and begin the holiday season together."