Great Neck Rotary Club launches annual turkey drive

Janelle Clausen
Great Neck Rotary Club provides Thanksgiving meals for families in need.

When the Great Neck Rotary Club began their annual turkey drive in Milton Tamarin‘s garage 28 years ago, the group began a tradition of getting Thanksgiving meals together for local families in need.

Roger Chizever, president of the Great Neck Rotary Club, who first joined over a decade ago, said the club continued growing because “there was more need for it.” He said the club gets about 1,000 full Thanksgiving meals for families on Long Island with the help of donations from the community.

These assembled Thanksgiving packages include a 14-pound turkey, stove top stuffing, five pounds of potatoes, carrots, peas, canned yams, and gravy. Chizever said the full meal is enough to feed a family of six.

“We want people to be at home with their families on Thanksgiving, because that’s what Thanksgiving is about,” Chizever said.

After putting the meals together with other community members, the Rotary Club gives these meals out to other organizations like the Mental Health Association, St. Mary’s Church, Temple Beth-El, children’s centers, and other groups.

The organizations pass the meals on to families that need their help. Last year the club worked with about 19 groups, many of them in Great Neck.

“It’s a good thing to do and you’re helping people out,” Jeff Jardine, former president of the club, said. “For 20 bucks, you’re buying a family meal.”

All of the money donated goes towards the purchase of products from supermarkets.
Delivery trucks, stamps and dumpsters are sponsored by a person or business, and any leftover money is saved to be used for the next year.

If interested in sponsoring a family, fill out this form and make checks payable to Rotary Club of Great Neck Foundation at PO Box 220019 in Great Neck, NY 11022-0019.

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