Volunteers bring Lighthouse’s dinner together

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson Alfonso Hernandez, a volunteer from Cannon Air Force Base, replenishes the turkey during Thursday’s Lighthouse Mission Thanksgiving meal. In total, 465 meals were served — 141 dine-in and 326 delivery.

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Alfonso Hernandez, a volunteer from Cannon Air Force Base, replenishes the turkey during Thursday’s Lighthouse Mission Thanksgiving meal. In total, 465 meals were served — 141 dine-in and 326 delivery.

By Kevin Wilson
MANAGING EDITOR
kwilson@cnjonline.com

CLOVIS — The Lighthouse Mission had two things to be thankful for on Thursday — plenty of food and plenty of help.

The turkey and volunteerism were in abundance as the mission marked its 13th year of serving a free holiday meal during the lunch period.

Though the meal is advertised from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the eating starts early and the volunteering even earlier.

Dawn Lampley, a volunteer for the mission, was running the kitchen so Executive Director Richard Gomez could handle other duties. She and other volunteers were in the kitchen around 7 a.m., and people started eating the Thanksgiving meal around 10:30 a.m.

“This has been busier than the last two we’ve had,” Lampley said. “I know I’ve cooked 14 to 16 pans of turkey and 10 pans of stuffing. It seems like a lot more than last year.”

The volunteers cooked plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, a slice of bread and pumpkin pie.

There were a total of 465 meals served, with 141 dining in and 326 meals delivered throughout the city. About 100 volunteers helped out at some point throughout the day, whether from local schools, Cannon Air Force Base or the community at large.

The Clovis High varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders came for their third year in a row. Coach BJ Bernet said some of her cheerleaders were out of town with their families, but 29 of 40 total cheerleaders did come for at least one of the three hours. About a dozen of them took on delivery tasks, with two people working each delivery team.

“I want them to give back to the community, because the community always gives to us,” Bernet said. “It’s up to their schedule (how much they volunteer). Every shift is for one hour, but some of the girls are doing two.”