John Yeo of Sequim sits down to a traditional turkey dinner during Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve meal at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

John Yeo of Sequim sits down to a traditional turkey dinner during Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve meal at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Salvation Army cooks for 285 at Thanksgiving Eve community meal

Volunteers prepare 38 turkeys, 18 gallons of mashed potatoes, 13 gallons of gravy

Nearly 300 holiday meals were served at an early Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 27 at the Port Angeles Salvation Army.

Volunteers prepared 38 turkeys, 18 gallons of mashed potatoes and 13 gallons of gravy for 285 people who were in need or who have made community dinners part of their holiday tradition, organizers said.

“We see a little bit of everybody,” said Maj. Ron Wehnau, who heads the Port Angeles Salvation Army with his wife, Barbara.

John Yeo of Sequim attended the Salvation Army feast alone Wednesday because the painter he is working with declined his invitation.

He also left his wallet at home, he said.

“I read in the paper about various dinners being served at various places and I said well, I’m part of the public, too,” Yeo said.

John Yeo of Sequim sits down to a traditional turkey dinner during Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve meal at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

John Yeo of Sequim sits down to a traditional turkey dinner during Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve meal at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Yeo said he regularly eats lunch at the Port Angeles Senior Center.

“Because I’m diabetic, they offer me a soup, half a sandwich and a sugarless Jell-O,” Yeo said while feasting on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fruit and vegetables, and pie.

“And that’s perfect for me for lunch. I’m overdoing it with this.”

Ron Wehnau said the Salvation Army planned for a 50 percent increase in attendance because the Thanksgiving Day feast at the Queen of Angles Catholic Church was canceled this year.

Last year, the Salvation Army in Port Angeles fed nearly 200 on Thanksgiving eve.

“We’ve cooked for 400, but we planned for about 300 compared to the 200 we had last year,” Wehnau said before the meal began. “We can handle 400 if it comes to that.”

The Salvation Army at 206 S. Peabody St. typically serves those who are homeless or couch surfing and seniors who enjoy the camaraderie, Wehnau said.

“There’s some fellowship time,” Wehnau said.

“But during this time of the year, we’ll see a lot of the people that don’t have family in the area and they want that one good meal.

“For some folks, this is just a tradition,” he added.

“They’ve always come to the (Salvation) Army or to one of the community meals on Thanksgiving as part of their holiday tradition.”

Doug Crabb of Sequim, right, hands out a dinner tray as volunteers, from left, Phyllis Meyer of Sequim, Linda Crabb of Sequim and Darci McCabe of Port Angeles prepare meals for Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve lunch at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Doug Crabb of Sequim, right, hands out a dinner tray as volunteers, from left, Phyllis Meyer of Sequim, Linda Crabb of Sequim and Darci McCabe of Port Angeles prepare meals for Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve lunch at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Doug Crabb of Sequim, right, hands out a dinner tray as volunteers, from left, Phyllis Meyer of Sequim, Linda Crabb of Sequim and Darci McCabe of Port Angeles prepare meals for Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve lunch at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Doug Crabb of Sequim, right, hands out a dinner tray as volunteers, from left, Phyllis Meyer of Sequim, Linda Crabb of Sequim and Darci McCabe of Port Angeles prepare meals for Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve lunch at the Port Angeles Salvation Army kitchen. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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