Volunteers honor the late Edward ‘Bud’ King at Messalonskee Thanksgiving dinner

Volunteers delivered meals and offered curbside pick up.
Volunteers prepare meals for the Messalonskee High School Thanksgiving Dinner.
Volunteers prepare meals for the Messalonskee High School Thanksgiving Dinner.(WABI)
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 3:26 PM EST
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OAKLAND, Maine (WABI) - The annual Messalonskee High School community Thanksgiving looked a bit different this year due to the pandemic.

This year’s Messalonskee Thanksgiving dinner started with a moment of silence remembering Edward “Bud” King.

King hosted the first community meal in 1990 and died earlier this year at the age of 97.

“Bud and I talked about it when I was in high school and we’ve been doing this for a long time and we wanna have it continue, he and his family have been a huge part of this and we’ll miss him,” said Co-Founder Mike Marston.

For the last 30 years folks in Oakland have been handing out Thanksgiving dinner to the community at Messalonskee High School.

This year was no different.

“I really feel the people need this, people do need it. Someone asked me yesterday what are you gonna miss the most about it and to be honest I miss seeing people’s faces smiling, I miss the old people in here and sitting down having a meal with somebody else,” said Mike Perkins, chief organizer of the dinner.

Mike Perkins says given the pandemic this year’s community meal was more important than ever before.

To keep things COVID-19 friendly they switched the sit-down meal to a curbside pick up.

And volunteers delivered meals directly to the doors of people who couldn’t get out.

“Even during COVID there’s not a whole ton we can do and normally there’s a lot more people and a lot more going on but right now it’s nice to just be able to serve the people in our community who don’t have as much as we do, and we can give our time and like why not, right?” said volunteer Anya Fegel.

This year they plan to serve roughly 1,300 people throughout the central Maine area.

“The sharing is still here and we’re able to celebrate Thanksgiving the way it should be celebrated,” said Marston.

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