Years ago Arthur Beerman owner of Elder-Beerman’s Department Stores began a legacy which lasts to this day. And this is just one more reason the people of Dayton and the Miami Valley are good, caring folks. It’s the 7th annual ‘Feast of Giving,’ Thanksgiving in Dayton on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at the Dayton Convention Center. Doors open at 11am and dinner will be served until 2pm.
But the dinner’s humble beginnings date back to 1969 when the aforementioned Mr. Beerman started the community feast. He had suffered a heart attack that year and, while hospitalized, received hundreds of cards from well-wishers. Later, while recovering at home, he announced the dinner as his way “to thank the good Lord for letting me get home for Thanksgiving.”
The lonely, the needy and the hungry were not far from his thoughts.
Beerman died the next year, but his family and the Beerman foundation kept the tradition going. There was a standing invitation: Anyone was welcome to the free dinner.
The annual dinner was believed to be the largest of its kind in the nation having served an average of 4,000 turkey dinners per year.
All good things though must come to an end … or would it?
In September of 2008 the Beerman family said at the time, “It has been heartwarming to provide a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner to so many wonderful people and have a hand in the development of community pride and spirit and a strong case could certainly be made to continue the event. However, after considerable thought and discussion, the foundation directors felt a need to focus their efforts on programs covering broader areas and those beneficial on a year round basis.”
Never fear though, a fine group of folks decided to resurrect the dinner. They include ABC22 and FOX45, the Dermatologists of Southwest Ohio, Inc., RTA, Stratacache and Legrand.
And now 7 years later the now rebranded ‘Feast of Giving’ is doing what it intended to do over 45 years ago, invite any and every one to a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner with all the trimmings and free of charge. There will be live music for all to enjoy plus children’s activities.
No tickets are needed to attend and there will be free parking at the Dayton Convention Center garage. Free RTA and Project Mobility transportation to and from the convention center from 9am-4pm will be provided. Call 937-425-8300 for RTA information.
See I told you we have a great group of people giving of their time and talents for their neighbors in need. Gosh what more can you ask for on Thanksgiving?
Cheers and Happy Turkey Day… now pass the gravy!