Ellsworth Elks honor beloved Mainer in Thanksgiving tradition

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 7:04 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - Folks in Ellsworth sat down to a Thanksgiving meal at the Elk’s Lodge, as the lodge hosted their Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

But, this annual event offers more than a good meal.

Kaddie Sharpe tell us how one man’s actions, turned into community tradition.

It was a gobblin’ good day here, at the Ellsworth Elks Lodge, where folks gathered together for their annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

For years, the Elk’s Lodge has been making sure folks get a turkey dinner and some good company.

Elks Lodge Secretary and turkey dinner organizer, Eric Hoard, says that this tradition is still a holiday staple for the area.

“It’s good for the community cause there’s so many people in the community. They love coming over here and doing it and are we kind of get a lot of the same people but then we get new people every year. We get all the way from Blue Hill into Sullivan and all around in this area.”

But this annual dinner has been more for the Elks Lodge than giving food to people, it’s been food for the soul.

This tradition was started years ago, by friend of the community, Donnie Clark, who originally started it in his own kitchen.

“Donnie Clark was a member,” Hoard said. “And he used to do this every year and he did everything at home. He’d do a turkey a night and you know, and then he would bring them a place like this and just serve it.”

When he fell ill with cancer, Donnie wanted someone to carry on the tradition. The Ellsworth Elks Lodge decided to help.

After Donnie’s passing, the folks at the Elks Lodge wanted to make sure this important feast continued.

“He was here for the first year,” Hoard said. “And then after that, we just kept running with it. So. we’ve been doing it for six years now. We even did it right through the Covid. We were doing completely takeout but that time.”

They say that having people come together for food, unity, and friends, has been great for the thankful heart.

“The people that come in are very appreciative of the meal,” Hoard said. “And it’s a good chance that a lot of people get to come here and gather with other people. And so it’s like a little family.”