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Lawrenceville women cook Thanksgiving spread to benefit fire department

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LAWRENCEVILLE — Ten 22 and 23-pound turkeys, 15 homemade pies and the six-woman auxiliary team brought a spirit and scent of Thanksgiving to the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department, 1081 County Route 54, and the whole community Sunday.

The six women from the fire department’s auxiliary team spent the past couple of days preparing enough food to serve the community and then some, a team effort they’ve been keeping up for the past 20 years.

“People come from all over for this dinner,” Pat C. Pickering, an auxiliary member since 1966, said. “There’s a lot of older people that don’t have kids coming home for Thanksgiving, so they can come on Sunday and have a good Thanksgiving meal.”

Ms. Pickering said some of the firemen usually attend, depending on their schedules, but a majority of those in attendance are senior citizens.

The cooking process started days in advance with the turkeys being cooked in roasters and ovens in the fire department’s kitchen.

Sharon R. Wagstaff, Pamela M. McLaughlin and Sharon LaShomb, all from Lawenceville, were in the kitchen Sunday morning putting the finishing touches on the meal.

The women have been cooking this meal together each year for over 20 years.

“We run into each other, but we’re used to it. We just bounce off each other,” Ms. McLaughlin said.

The women have cooked Thanksgiving meals together each year for more than 20 years.

Ms. Pickering said members each have a key and stop by when they can and do what they can to help out.

Ms. Pickering does the grocery shopping ahead of time — a big chore when you’ve got 10 turkeys to buy.

“I’ve had so many people ask me what big-sized family I have and I tell them it’s not just a family, it’s a fire department,” she said.

Ms. Pickering said that because it’s such a big job, she doesn’t do all the shopping at once.

“When I’m out somewhere and I see something we’ll use, I get it,” she said.

The dinner is funded by the fire department’s auxiliary, who have year round breakfasts and events that bring money in.

Ms. Pickering said that although there are have leftovers each year, nothing goes to waste.

“We freeze the meat and the stuff that can be frozen and the helpers have some to take home,” Ms. Pickering said.

The meal was $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, and $5 for children under 12 years old, with all the money going to the fire department.

The auxiliary ladies also raffled off a 14-pound turkey and a basket full of canned foods during the dinner.

“We’re just glad that people are coming and helping us out,” Ms. Wagstaff said.

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