WAYLAND — Ron and Wendy Scarff stood at the door into the WACO High School cafeteria, greeting guests. “Happy Thanksgiving. Welcome. Come on in,” Ron would say, shanking hands with everyone who entered as Wendy make a quick tally mark to keep track of how many community members took part in the annual Thanksgiving meal.
When asked how long the two had been a part of the 15th annual Wayland Community Thanksgiving, Ron answered with a chuckle, “about 10 minutes.”
This was the first time the Scarffs had attended the Community Thanksgiving, although Wendy has donated food for the past eight years.
“I told (Ron) we’re not doing our (family Thanksgiving) until Sunday, so let’s go work there.”
Wendy said she felt it was important to help out any way they could because they know there are a lot of people who don’t have a place to eat. “And it’s just a good community,” she added.
As the morning turned into afternoon, more and more guests came through the door, including Roni Stowers. Ron greeted Stowers with a giant hug before she introduced him to the women in tow.
Stowers is the house advocate for New Life House. “New Life House is a place for women to be able to start their lives over,” Stowers explained.
This was the first time Stowers had attended the Community Thanksgiving. She said she came because she thought it was be a good way for the women at New Life House to meet fellow community members.
At the back of the cafeteria Sharon Crone, of Washington, appeared out of the kitchen with a tray full of pies and quickly began refilling the open spaces on the dessert table. This was the first time Crone had volunteered at the event. She had heard about the meal and called the organizer to see if there was anything she could do to help. She was quickly put to work.
“I just wanted to help,” she said. “I always like to help people.”
Lydia Rotzinger was no stranger to the Community Thanksgiving. She’s attended every year.
“I live by myself so I like to come and sit with people I know. And if I don’t, then I get to introduce myself to new people.”