Written by: Michael Risinit
MAHOPAC — In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” the animatedtelevision special, Snoopy deals out plates laden with popcorn and toast. Pattie Rosalino of Carmel hopes to be doing the same thing on a mid-November Saturday, albeit with more typical holiday fare and with local veterans as the recipients.
“I have eight separate donations of full Thanksgiving dinners from friends, along with a couple of extra turkeys,” said Rosalino, an office manager.
She, along with others working on organizing and serving a Thanksgiving meal to veterans — an effort sponsored by state Sen. Greg Ball — are seeking more. For Rosalino, it’s a chance to honor her son, who did a tour in Afghanistan with his Vermont National Guard unit; her nephew, another Operation Enduring Freedom veteran; her brother, who served in Desert Storm; her dad, a soldier in the 1950s; and several uncles and cousins. She said she responded to a request Ball put on Facebook, asking for volunteers and donations.
“It’s a great cause,” Rosalino said.
Ball’s office hopes to feed 600 veterans at three seatings at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Mahopac firehouse and 450 have already signed up. The 3 p.m. seating is fully booked with veterans from the Montrose VA facility. Along with donations of already prepared food, volunteers are needed to help at the event.
Camille Parisi of Mahopac is also wrangling donated turkeys. She is an English and social studies teacher at Lakeland-Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown.
“I usually do a lot of veteran-related activities with my classroom. When I saw the opportunity to show veterans the community cares, I was all in,” she said.
Ball, who has 15 donated turkeys in need of an oven, said he was heartened by the community support.
“This event, that I hope we will do and grow every year, is a great way to say thanks to those brave men and women who deserve the praise so much, yet hear it so rarely,” Ball said.