The spirit of the holiday season comes in many different forms, yet generally revolves around the notion of giving, of helping those who are less fortunate or cannot help themselves.
The Cape Coral Elks Lodge No. 2596 will try its best to help the needy by hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner, open to the public.
The lodge has been involved with the dinners for the last seven years, when they were held at the Paradise Tiki Hut.
This year the dinner will be held at the Elk’s Lodge, where organizers are expecting 500 people to take part in the holiday celebration.
“It’s for the needy of all sorts, but this year, of all times, there are a hell of a lot of people who are down and out,” said Jim Purin, event coordinator.
Purin said the Elks are prepping 50 turkeys for the occasion and have relied greatly on the volunteers who will make the event a success, though Purin said he currently has all the volunteers he needs.
Last year’s dinner attracted 300-350 people, according to Purin. He voiced concern over the number of people who come seeking a meal, who might otherwise be capable of taking care of themselves.
Though the Elks will not turn anyone away, Purin said he would hate to see “35 people out there who it’s intended for not get fed.”
Purin was quick to point out that the dinners are not only for those who find themselves having financial difficulty, but for those who might be alone during the holiday and have no one to share it with.
“There are so many ways to classify need,” Purin said. “Could be an elderly couple, could be someone who is all alone.”
The food starts at noon and continues until 4 p.m., or “until the food runs out,” according to Purin.
Cash and food donations will be accepted
The Cape Coral Elks Lodge No. 2596 is located at 4631 S.E. 10th Place. For more information, contact Jim Purin at 570-350-8937.