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'This means everything': Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence hosts 500 for Thanksgiving dinner

by Bill Burk, Eagle Tribune

What do you get when you take 500 kids, enough turkey to feed a small battalion, piles of mashed potatoes, cartons of corn and a few hundred chocolate chip cookies, and put them all together in a big, noisy gymnasium at the Boys & Girls Club on Water Street?

Great memories, full stomachs and busy volunteers.

For the 38th consecutive year, the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence held its annual Thanksgiving dinner for the young members of the 136 Water St. club.

Volunteers from across the region stood by to serve food that was donated by the Lawrence Exchange Club, cooked at DiBurro's in Haverhill, and delivered in Boys & Girls Club vans.

The food was then divvied up into smaller pans and metal bins and placed on dozens of fold-out tables arrayed across the parquet floor.

"We get to eat dinner with my whole basketball team," Decocq said, adding that she loves the Boys & Girls Club because she can "make new friends and play basketball."

"This brings back a lot of memories," Dhaliwal said, noting that both she and Hill were regulars at the annual Thanksgiving meals when they were younger.

"This means everything," said Hill. "I was one of these kids once. I was lucky to have a Thanksgiving meal at home. The kids I sat at these tables with when I was a kid are still some of my best friends. This brings a real sense of community."


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