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Marines treated to early Thanksgiving dinner


Last updated 11/26/2017 at Noon

Caterers serve young Marines turkey and all the trimmings in a warehouse on board Camp Pendleton.

CAMP PENDLETON – On Nov. 15, Heart to Heart Camp Pendleton hosted their second annual Thanksgiving holiday event which was held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. This year, they were given the opportunity to honor and bless 140 young Marines far from home with a delicious “Home for the Holidays” meal.

Besides Heart to Heart founder Mary Young, there were also eight volunteers in attendance: military spouse Darcy Thompson, Heart to Heart board member Sabrina Barella, along with Jeannie Allen, Barbara Ramirez, Mia Smyth, Anesa Cronin, and Marylynn Datoc.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Foster Ferguson opened the event with a warm welcome and introduced Young who offered some words of thanks and praise. She said, “We love our military so much, especially our Marines aboard Camp Pendleton. You have a very important job, and we understand that you are committed to excellence in all that you do. Thank you for all your hard work in service to our great country. We are so very proud of you!”

Afterwards, LtCol Ferguson presented Young with a beautifully handcrafted plaque inscribed with the words “God, Country, Corps”.

Chaplain Donald Keim offered the invocation and blessing over the food, and then the Marines enthusiastically lined up at the buffet tables for a holiday meal catered by Bekker’s Full-Service Catering company from San Diego. They each also received a raffle ticket and the opportunity to win one of nine raffle items, eight of which were $50 Visa gift cards, and for one female Marine, the opportunity to win a gift of India Hicks jewelry.

The Marines and guests all sat down at the colorfully decorated tables to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal of herbed encrusted tri-tip with au jus, oven roasted turkey breast, and baked ham, all carved on site. In addition, they were served homemade bread dressing, creamy mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, tossed green salad with dressings, and fresh rolls and butter.

For dessert, Bekker’s created centerpiece platters for each table consisting of assorted homemade holiday cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. In addition, there were more desserts at the dessert table with homemade pumpkin pie and fruit cobblers with whipped cream, as well as a drink station with coffee, iced tea, and water.

Young said, “Bekker’s did an outstanding job preparing and serving our honored guests. Only the best for our Marines! We are so grateful to Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Foster Ferguson, Sergeant Major Auburne Edwards, First Sergeant Brian Anderson, and Staff Sergeant Alex Aumoithe for their kind help in organizing this fun and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday event for our Marines.”

The Marines show their appreciation by presenting Mary Young with a handcrafted plaque, from left, Barbara Ramirez, Sabrina Barella, Corporal Tamay, Corporal Tedder, Young, LtCol Ferguson, Jeannie Allen, Mia Smyth, Anesa Cronin, and Marylynn Datoc.

Also, on Thursday, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, Heart to Heart will offer fully cooked Thanksgiving dinners to very deserving families aboard Camp Pendleton prepared by Felix Barbecue With Soul Restaurant in Oceanside. Each delicious dinner will serve 8 to 10 people, and will consist of smoked turkey breast, baked ham, barbecued brisket, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, mac-n- cheese, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, brioche dinner rolls, cornbread muffins, and for dessert, sweet potato pie and apple pie.

Young added, “We thank our friends at Felix BBQ for their continued support of this ministry and mission to bless as many Marines and their families as possible during the Thanksgiving holiday season. And we want to thank our volunteers and the individuals and local organizations who supported our efforts to make these Thanksgiving holiday outreaches possible through their generous financial contributions.”


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