The Gardner News
By Damien Fisher
Local seniors got a Christmas surprise Tuesday as Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis made local stops to drop off turkeys, pies, and cranberries.
“Times are tough right now, ” the sheriff said during a visit to the Gardner Senior Center. “And people could use a little bit of help.”
Gardner was one of many stops on Mr. Evangelidis’ turkey tour this week. He also visited Athol, Winchendon, Worcester, Westminster, Princeton and Spencer on Tuesday and plans to stop in Webster. Uxbridge, and Milford today.
Donations through the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association, along with the generosity of the Table Talk Pie company, allowed Mr. Evangelidis to give out 300 turkey dinners to seniors. Each turkey averaged about 15 pounds.
Some 70 lucky Gardner folks won the turkey dinners as Mr. Evangelidis drew names from a can.
Gardner Senior Center Director Dan Novak expected about 150 seniors to be at the monthly community meal Tuesday.
The center hosts the monthly meal for seniors, and charges $3 for the good. The center receives many donations of time and labor to pu on the meal, Mr. Novak said, including the help of students from the CAPS Education Collaborative.
Betty Stone is a regular at the meals and was one of the lucky turkey winners. She enjoys the meals at the center mostly for the company of her peers.
“It’s nice to be around people of the same level,” she said.
Mr. Evangelidis hopes the meals help the seniors in Worcester County – many of whom have given a lot to their communities throughout their lives.
Helping seniors and others in the communities of Worcester County is part of the job, the sheriff said.
“It’s the greatest honor of my life to be given the privilege and honor to be sheriff of Worcester County,” he said.