Chicago's Oldest and Free Thanksgiving Feast

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - If you thought cooking for your family was a huge task, imagine feeding 1,200 guests.

Chicago's longest running, free Thanksgiving feast took place Wednesday evening in Bridgeport. Eighty turkeys and three carloads of all the fixings were purchased for the event.

At 12-years-old, Brendon Conboy was one of the youngest volunteers this year.

"I am happy not to get paid to serve other people, which is kind of my mission here today," Conboy said.

This was the event's 48th year.

For Allen Swartz and his partner Sherry Moore, it meant a hearty meal this holiday.

"To have something to eat, you know, we don't really have family that's there for us, it's just us. To be able to come here, it does mean a lot," Moore said.

The annual event takes place at the Louis L. Valentine Boys and Girls Club on Emerald Avenue. The event was named in honor of late board member Tony Maurello, who always greeted guests wearing a tuxedo.

This year, Joe Cicshon took over Tony's duties.

"Two dollar Tony we would call him. He would give a $2 dollar bill out to strangers," remembered Cicshon.

Club Director Dawn Jiminez gets emotional when asked how important the food is to her community.

"Some people have families that are home bound and they can't get out, or they have pets and they feed them our food," Jiminez told FOX 32.

One-hundred volunteers, including Jiminez, made the event happen.

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