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Charlotte Amalie
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All Are Welcome at Several Thanksgiving Tables

Nov. 24, 2004 – Those who find themselves alone, far from home or whose families and friends don't live in the V.I., are invited to gather around any of a number of Thanksgiving tables this year. Religious broadcasters, churches and one private citizen will be laying out holiday spreads at locations throughout St. Thomas.
On St. John the feast is being offered to "anyone who didn't get an invitation."
Radio Station WGOD is hosting a luncheon, from noon to 3 p.m., at Walkers by the Sea. Entertainment will be provided by the Redeemed Brothers.
Seniors who join the celebration are invited to bring along their favorite poetry to share, especially if it is original.
WGOD announcer Wingrove Fenton said station owners Rev. Reynold Charles and his wife, Veeda Charles, along with station manager Charles Sanders, are expecting close to 120 people Thursday. "We have a lot of seniors and wonderful folks who were there last year, and we have a lot of new names," Fenton said.
At St. Andrews Anglican Church in Estate Thomas, Rev. Ambrose Gumbs is inviting everyone to join the traditional Thanksgiving meal put on in the church's parish hall following the 10 a.m. mass. "For many years on Thanksgiving Day we have served lunch after service," he said.
Gumbs said many of those who join the feast are elderly parishioners whose families live out of the territory. "So rather than staying home alone they'll come to church and then spend the early afternoon here and then go home after that, satisfied that they were with the parish family for the day," he said.
At Frederick Evangical Lutheran Church, Thanksgiving dinner will be served from noon on. Music, serenades and live piano music are expected.
On Wednesday Cynthia Farmer hustled out of the kitchen where the preparations were already underway.
"Mr. and Mrs. Peter Robles here at Frederick Lutheran Church approached my husband and I to see if we wanted to help them put together a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who needed to go someplace to be with other people," she said. "This has blossomed into something very special."
Farmer said live music would be part of the event. "We'll have some people coming in, singing," she said, adding, "We'll have a pianist all afternoon long to entertain people as they are enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner."
At the Salvation Army near the Rothschild Francis Market Square, organizers said more than 100 people are expected for the holiday meal. Meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For Salvation Army Capt. Debra Sam it's the seventh year of holding this holiday event. "It means a lot because it's nice to be able to help those who don't have any family, and we've known them for so long now they are like our family," she said. "We look forward, not only on Thanksgiving, but every day, to seeing them come," she said.
A Thanksgiving table will also be spread in Emancipation Garden to serve those who want to share some holiday spirit. Meals are expected to be served after 11 a.m. According to Louise Petersen, executive director of the Methodist Training and Outreach Center, the feast is being offered by Francis Penn Scipio, who could not be reached for comment.
Rev. Charles Crespo of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on St. John said this year's annual community dinner is designed to include everyone.
Crespo said the fete is being held at a neighboring church in Cruz Bay because Mt. Carmel's new church building is under construction. "We're doing it at the Nazareth Lutheran Church around the corner because we don't have the space at the moment. We're inviting everyone from the community to come for a community meal," he said.
Tourists, locals, transplants, new residents and those who live alone or have no home at all are welcome to join parishioners for the holiday meal.
"Our attempt is not to be a soup kitchen but for it to be really a community meal so no matter what our social status may appear to be to others, on Thanksgiving we are all one," Crespo said.

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