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Thanksgiving: It’s a day for fun, food and family

Hello neighbor.

I had to have my Neighbors column in earlier than usual this week because of the holiday, so I can’t tell you about my Thanksgiving, but I’m hoping you all had as wonderful a time as I am guessing I had with my family.

My plans were to go to Christina’s and Oliver’s house in Montague for breakfast. My son-in-law was slow cooking corned beef on Wednesday, which he planned to use in his family-famous homemade hash. My dad couldn’t wait.

My job, at least as of Wednesday afternoon, was to do the rest of the cooking on Thanksgiving morning, but I’ll bet I spent more time with grandsons Justin, Owen and Travis than I did in the kitchen and I’m guessing Christina and Suzanne were grateful.

I left Christina’s for an early dinner at my sons’ aunt’s home in Greenfield and then it was back to Turners Falls to my sister’s, where I planned to see Thaddeus, Lexi and Amelie.

Finally, I planned to go to Oliver’s parents’ home, where I was going to get to see the twins again.

Have I told you how much I love Thanksgiving?

I also love that I was invited to other people’s homes this year — I usually do all the cooking for Thanksgiving. All I had to make this year was a couple of green bean casseroles.

What was nicest of all, I’m sure, was watching my daughter take over some of the traditions and start some of her own — the circle of life.

Have a nice weekend and get ready — we’re about to enter the next holiday season.

LOCAL VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CHAPTER 232, local radio station WHAI, and Greenfield Garden Cinemas are teaming up for the thirteenth year in a row to collect food for the needy.

The three are collecting non-perishable cans and boxes of food for the holidays.

Greenfield Garden Cinemas will kick off the drive on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. — with a donation of at least five cans or boxes of food, you can attend the first viewing of the movie of your choice at no charge, which will begin at 6:30 that night.

All food collected will go to the Salvation Army and the Center for Self Reliance.

For more information, call 413-772-0857 or 413-522-7292.

I TOLD YOU IN EARLIER NEIGHBORS COLUMNS about Operation Touch of Home, a group of more than 30 volunteers who prepared care packages for soldiers stationed overseas during the holiday season

Volunteers included military family members and organizers from Diemand Farm in Wendell, North Orange Grange in Orange and the Veterans Education Project.

Since it began in 2007, Operation Touch of Home has sent more than 580 care packages to soldier.

For more information, visit: www.operationtouchofhome.blogspot.com.

GEORGE HUNT OF HUNT FARM IN ORANGE has been recognized by his peers with a nomination for the John Ogonowski Award.

The annual award is given to a state Farm Bureau member who has provided distinguished service to the agricultural community.

According to the Farm Bureau, one person is nominated from each county in Massachusetts. Two groups review all of the nominations and choose one person, who will be announced at the Farm Bureau’s annual meeting on Thursday.

George was nominated for his “longtime and steadfast support of agriculture,” according to those who nominated him.

Leonard Roberts, president of the Franklin County Farm Bureau, said those nominated each year contribute tirelessly to state agriculture.

“If it wasn’t for these farmers, there wouldn’t be food on people’s tables,” he said.

George’s involvement in farming dates back to his teen years, when he decided to rejuvenate the dairy farm on which he was raised — his father, who had been working on the farm, died in an auto accident when George was just 9 years old.

Over the years George repaired and improved the buildings on the dairy farm, adding a milking parlor and gradually increasing the size of the herd and the number of acres farmed.

The farm, which was founded in 1879, was honored in 2010 with the Massachusetts “Century Farm” designation.

George and his wife Nan raised their four children on the farm and they have 12 grandchildren — the Hunt legacy lives on.

Congratulations George.

DAKIN PIONEER VALLEY HUMANE SOCIETY will offer adult cat adoptions for $5 today only.

Dakin has many adult cats waiting at its Leverett and Springfield adoption centers to find homes and its Black Friday $5 Felines will allow all cats ages 6 months old and older to go home with you for just $5.

The low adoption fee includes spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, testing, microchipping, a jewel-toned collar, an identification tag and a starter bag of food.

Visit Dakin today between noon and 5:30 p.m. and welcome a new member to your family — just make sure you are able to care for the cat once you get it home.

For more information, visit: www.dpvhs.org.

THE WINNERS OF THE FRIENDS OF THE GREENFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY’S raffle were drawn at its Fall Event at Stoneleigh Burnham School on Nov. 11.

The winner of the iPad was Barbara Levy of Greenfield and the winner of the quilt was Marilyn Bourguignon of Conway.

More than 125 people attended the event raised more than $10,000, which will benefit the library.

I HAVE LEARNED THAT Holly Todd, 39, formerly of Orange, and Neil LeBlanc, 65, formerly of Athol, who are now living in Swanville, Maine, recently completed the 2,184.2-mile Appalachian Trail.

They started on the first day of spring (March 20) in Springer Mountain, Ga., and reached the summit of Mount Katahdin, Maine on Oct. 2. They completed the trail on Nov. 14, according to Holly’s proud mother.

Pamela Kells of Orange told me that the couple encountered below freezing temperatures, a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, and snow.

“They will forever have fond memories of the amazing wildlife, scenic views, special foods, trail magic, and interesting towns and people they met along the way,” said Pamela.

I know I’m impressed with their feat — just thinking about it tires me out.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to anita.alice.fritz@gmail.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 280 or her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach her on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: neighbors@recorder.com the day before you want it to run.

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