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Southeast seniors thankful for Moose meals

by: David F. Ashton, Job’s Daughter Kelsey Richert serves an early Thanksgiving dinner to guest Beryl Parker.

Thanksgiving Day came early - Sunday, November 18th - at the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 291 on S.E. 52nd at Flavel. This feast, a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, was served to the area's senior citizens as a community outreach project.

In the lodge's community hall, volunteers from Job's Daughters of Friendship Lodge seated guests and served plated dinners, rolls, and beverages.

After guest Beryl Parker was treated to this first-class service by volunteer Kelsey Richert, she looked pleased and said, 'This is beautiful. This is good food, and a lot of it! What a wonderful dinner they're putting out.'

Lorna Lawrence, the organizer of the event and a member of Women of the Moose, Chapter 297 at Lodge 291, told us about their event. 'This is the fifth year we've served a free Thanksgiving dinner for all seniors in our neighborhood.'

Their program is simple: They distribute invitations throughout the neighborhood, inviting seniors to come in for Thanksgiving dinner.

'We just had a gentleman come in,' Lawrence said; 'he says this is the only Thanksgiving he has. It is his fourth year he's come by.'

Asked why the lodge members sponsor this event, Lawrence explained, 'We like to give back to our community. We're a community-service-based organization.'

In addition to providing service to their local neighborhood, she reported that the Moose Lodge also has senior citizen centers in two locations outside Portland, and also supports an orphanage in Chicago, Illinois.

Moose on Wheels

'We also provide meals for shut-ins,' said Lawrence. 'We find drivers to deliver meals to about a dozen people around the neighborhood. Some are too ill or disabled to travel; others don't drive.'

The fragrant and savory aromas of roast turkey, bread dressing, mashed potatoes, and gravy filled our nostrils. We noticed a red jar labeled 'donations', and asked if we could contribute - and ourselves enjoy an early Thanksgiving dinner.

'Of course!' Lawrence smiled. 'Have a seat. One can't have too many good Thanksgiving dinners.'

By the way, the meal was a toothsome repast - and the portions so generous, we took the pumpkin pie home to enjoy later.

The lodge later went on to present its Annual Holiday Bazaar, December 7, 8, and 9. 'All of the funds we raise from the event go toward our Christmas community service project. We're adopting two families for the Salvation Army. Each year, you're sure to find great gifts and treats here, and the money will help us buy gifts, a dinner, a tree, and some decorations for the families.'

The Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 291 is on the corner of S.E. 52nd Avenue and Flavel Street - 7414 S.E. 52nd - in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.