AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Preparations were underway for a decade long Thanksgiving tradition in Aiken.
For the last 10 years, the Aiken community has set their differences aside on Thanksgiving and shared a meal with old friends, new friends and even strangers that quickly became a part of the family.
“What better place to get to know somebody than across the table eating a wonderful meal,” said One Table Coordinator Lynne Sharpe.
Sharpe says this year won’t be any different.
The One Table Coordinator was busy prepping for the 11th annual event inside Newberry Hall, while outside volunteers were grilling the turkey, all 80 of them.
“If the grill’s open, you’re not cooking.” Aiken Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco joked.
New this year, all the turkeys were purchased from local vendors and range from 20 to 25 pounds.
So the cooks had to get creative to make them all fit inside the 5 grills.
“Some of them were cut in half that makes them cook a little bit quicker.” Chief Barranco told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “Then we’ll pack them in coolers and they’ll slice them up tomorrow.”
One Table began as an idea to feed local first responders who could not be with their families on Thanksgiving.
Since then it’s grown from 100 plates of food to nearly 1,500.
“We’ve sort of shifted from it being those that are in greatest need, to being the whole community.” Sharpe said. “So everybody comes to share One Table and that’s been huge. Somebody said years ago it’s not a hand out, it’s a handshake.”
This is a rain or shine event and totally free of charge to the public.
The tables will be setup down The Alley and across Bee Lane, in Downtown Aiken.
It’s from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday.
To learn more about One Table, or to sign-up to volunteer click here.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.