Our blessings are that on this Thanksgiving Day we wish you many joys and blessings to be thankful for today and all the year through.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and sharing, a Tri-Valley community of businesses, churches and residents is joining forces today to host a free Thanksgiving Outreach Dinner for families, seniors and people in need from our own neighborhoods.

The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Raymond Catholic Church, 11555 Shannon Ave., Dublin.

The first of its kind, the Thanksgiving feast has been in the planning for months and is spearheaded by Matt Troiano and John Archer, both of Dublin and members of the St. Raymond parish and fellow Knights of Columbus members

"John and I have talked about a Thanksgiving Outreach meal for three years, " said Troiano. He said he had noticed many seniors enjoying the monthly fish fries that the Knights host at St. Raymond and understood the need in the community.

This year, "as busy as both our schedules are, we decided to jump in feet-first, and we are praying that it (the dinner) will be a success," he added.

Months of planning have included gathering the help of more than 80 volunteers from San Ramon, Dublin and Pleasanton and even soliciting the aid of (fellow Knight, parishioner and) Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti in soliciting food and monetary donations from area businesses.


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Teams of volunteers transformed the church's Moran Hall on Shannon Avenue into a warm, family dining room with tables set and decorated. The volunteer kitchen crew led by professional chef Mike Troiano is roasting turkeys and cooking all the traditional fare, to be served by more volunteers. Another crew of volunteers is doing the baking, turning out homemade pumpkin and apple pies to fill the dessert table.

Invitations blanketed the Tri Valley community through local churches, community centers and locations where free meals are served and provided by Open Heart Kitchen. Meanwhile, generous donations of turkeys, groceries and money came in from Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Wyotech, Ruggie's Catering and UHaul of Dublin.

While they don't exactly know how many people will show up for dinner today, a great effort was made to feed more than 300 people with lots of leftovers, just in case.

CHRISTMAS SOUNDS: The San Ramon Symphonic Band's Christmas Festival will be held Dec. 21 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. Under the direction of Larry B. Colon, the Band will entertain the entire family and treat the audience to beautiful holiday music by the 55-member band.

Tickets are $6 for adults. Kids 12 and younger and with student ID are free. Purchase tickets at the door or at SanRamonPerformingArts.com

ANOTHER HOLIDAY TREAT: The Blackhawk Chorus will celebrate its 21st year as it presents "Ring in the Holidays" at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

Just back from a concert tour in London, Wales and the Republic of Ireland the choir's 140 voices will sing under the founding director Diane Gilfether and be accompanied by pianist Randall Benway and the Golden Gate String Quartet.

Purchase tickets at the door or online at www.SanRamonPerformingArts.com. Tickets are $25 for adults and $17 for kids 12 and younger.

Contact Monica Lander at landerfamily@comcast.net.