Our Lady of Grace Church celebrated Thanksgiving Saturday night in a rather unique way.
First, there was no turkey, mashed potatoes, squash or even apple pie. The menu was ham and beans, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, chicken fingers and apple crisp with ice cream for dessert.
Perhaps Joe Quartino, one of OLG’s proud parishioners who lends his chef skills to the Holy Name Society, said it best emphasizing “The ham and bean supper is our Holy Name Thanksgiving Dinner, because we hold this dinner to give thanks to God for what we have and then take the funds and share with those who have not”
As Rev. Peter J. Gower said, “We had over 150 parishioners and their guests in attendance with ages ranging from 9 to 99 years young; we as a parish continue to reach out to all people and welcome them to our table.”
To which Peter Lombardi, a retired Johnston business owner and parishioner at OLG, said, “[Father Gower] is a different kind of guy; he loves hosting these types of events because it reaches far beyond the parish and helps so many people.”
Saturday night’s ham and bean supper was the 17th at OLG, with members of the Holy Name Society doing all the shopping, cooking and serving – with help from their wives in many cases for a night of fun, food and fellowship.
“In the month of November we think of Thanksgiving we think of family coming together for dinner,” Father Gower said. “But here at OLG we come together as a parish family and enjoy this great dinner then take all the proceeds and use it for the purchasing of turkeys and other items that will be used to make Thanksgiving baskets for those in our community that are in need.”
Father Gower also announced that “we reach out to those who are in need in our parish and the greater Johnston community. Tonight, it’s all about raising funds for those in need.”
Not only did OLG’s ham and bean supper take in money to help those in need, the event also featured a multi-prize raffle with items like a Hamilton Beach Roaster Oven, a variety of cookware and home goods and microwave oven.
The raffle, which was conducted by Joe Andreozzi along with guest caller Jen Burns, the popular Sales/Community Relations Director at The Bridge at Cherry Hill.
“Once again Joe Andreozzi put together a prize galore table – make that two tables,” as Father Gower said. “And that sent over 60 lucky winners home with valuable prizes.”