Rotary club to hold turkey drive

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The Rotary Club of Great Neck is raising funds for its annual turkey drive, which is expected to feed 1,000 families in need this Thanksgiving.

“The Rotary Club of Great Neck has been doing this for over 20 years now,” former Rotary Club president and drive organizer Roger Chizever said. “We feed a lot of people with this. We get complete turkey dinners for families.”

The drive, which culminates in the purchase and distribution of tons of potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and frozen turkeys, sent complete bagged meals to charities across the North Shore, including All Saints Church, the Association to Benefit Children and St. Aloysius in Great Neck. 

The groups then give out meals to families, spreading Thanksgiving cheer to people who might otherwise not be able to afford a full holiday dinner.

“We like to do it this way, and there’s no stigma involved,” Chizever said. “They could be at home with their family having a nice meal.”

The Rotary Club is trying to hit a $25,000 fundraising goal, and will use the money to buy wholesale and discounted food for the drive. 

The club has a special partnership with Waldbaums in Great Neck, Chizever said, which allows the club to buy thousands of canned goods at sale prices.

“They are extremely helpful,” Chizever said. “They kind of lose money when they donate to us.”

On the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving Chizever and other volunteers will begin organizing the produce at a facility on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s campus in Kings Point, culminating on a bagging drive on Sunday when volunteers will prepare the meals for distribution.

The Rotary Club of Great Neck is soliciting $20 sponsorships to contribute to the food drive. For more information, community members can contact the club at 516 487 9392.

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