Thursday’s free Thanksgiving meal at the Memorial Building brought young and old, workers and students, and many other different people.
A few people at the meal were asked what they were thankful for on the holiday, and their responses were varied as well.
Anton Iliuk, a senior at Eastern New Mexico University, didn’t have much of an opportunity to spend the few days away from classes with his family — Iliuk is from the Ukraine.
While he couldn’t spend time with his family this holiday, he gave thanks to other who made the same choice on his behalf.
“I’m thankful that there are people around here willing to give up their time with family to prepare a meal like this and serve it,” said Iliuk.
Jose Rivas, a sophomore at ENMU, came with Iliuk. Rivas’ family lives in Clovis, but he considers himself a native of Los Angeles, Calif. He was thankful for being in a type of community where he could get together with strangers and be treated as a friend.
“I’m thankful for the many blessings that God gives us,” Rivas said. “In L.A., you don’t know your neighbor down the street. Here, they get together for a luncheon.”
While Rivas and Iliuk were just a few of many thankful for the meal opportunity, some of the volunteers were thankful for the chance to help.
“I’m thankful to be part of this,” said Lora Wood, who helped with the second annual event. “We are thankful to be able to serve the community. I would like to see this grow each year.”
I’ve got so much to be thankful for. The top of the list is my family … my health, freedom, this great country, the people overseas. I’m thankful for them.
Some were thankful for some musical accompaniment throughout the meal, courtesy of James A. Gibson and a piano. Gibson, who works at a vegetable farm owned by Smokey Ball, said he was thankful for the rain that has helped out his employer’s crop.
“(I’m thankful) we have freedom in this country and that we haven’t had a war in the United States (recently),” Gibson added.
Joe Kelting of Portales had a list of things he was thankful for, including the presence of God and Jesus Christ in his life.
“I’ve got so much to be thankful for,” Kelting said. “The top of the list is my family … my health, freedom, this great country, the people overseas. I’m thankful for them.”