LOACC's Thanksgiving Luncheon again draws a big audience
by: Cliff Newell, Lt. Paul Lorenzen of the Lake Oswego Fire Department helps serve at the ACC Thanksgiving Lunch. The annual event drew a capacity crowd of senior citizens, families and friends.

The Thanksgiving spirit doesn't get much better than at the Thanksgiving Luncheon at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

Hungry and thankful people filled the ACC dining area on Nov. 22 to eat a delicious Thanksgiving dinner just a day early and to give thanks for a place that has done so much for senior citizens of this community. Especially appreciated is the ACC's meals program.

'Every year we invite everyone,' said ACC program manager Debra Carline. 'They bring their families here and it really is wonderful.

'This has been going on for a long time. I've been here for 15 years and it was going on long before that.'

Besides a great dinner, those attending had another reason to celebrate. UBS Wealth Management was on hand to donate $2,500 to the meals program. On hand to make the presentation were UBS representatives Scott Springer and Shayne Kriss.

To Springer, a Sherwood resident, seeing the ACC in Lake Oswego was a really nice surprise.

'There's such a vibrant group of people here,' he said.

The UBS donation was most welcome to Andrew Harris, who along with Gail Kecek serves as co-chair of the Lake Oswego Meal Network Advisory Board.

'This is a huge boost in the arm for us,' Harris said. 'This will help us cover our deficits and even let us think about replacing kitchen equipment that is over 30 years old.'

Usually, Harris and Kecek recruit businesses to donate to the meals program. But the USB case was different.

'This is our first involvement with the program,' Kriss said. 'We wanted to give something back to Lake Oswego because our office and home is here. We were researching charities and found out about the need here.'

Harris calls the Meal Network 'the best-kept secret in Lake Oswego,' but it has done a remarkable amount of good. In all, it allows the ACC to provide 15,000 meals a year, both at the center and home delivered.

'Our board has been very successful at getting support,' Carline said. 'It allows us to serve a meal to whoever comes in. They can come in with nothing and still have a meal.'

The city of Lake Oswego operates the Meal Network. Supporters include Safeway, Fred Meyer Foundation, Wanzer Foundation, and Lake Oswego Junior Women's Club.

Members of the Lake Oswego Fire Department and Lake Oswego Police Department were on hand to serve meals.

'I hope they don't have to go out on a call,' joked Carline. 'These guys are great dishwashers.'

The ACC luncheon is one Thanksgiving tradition that will stay forever young.

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