NORWALK, Conn. – For Ernie Dumas, the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner he organizes each year at the South Norwalk Community Center is a labor of love and commitment.
The recently elected Democratic Town Committee member and activist has been hosting the dinner for the past 17 years, and he and his wife enjoy the time they spend with their South Norwalk neighbors.
“This is very important to me,” Dumas said. “It’s an honor to be able to do this each year.”
The volunteers at the Thanksgiving Day dinner serve meals to a few hundred residents each year, and for the past several years the event has also included a coat drive.
more than 300 coats for children and adults would be handed out this year, said Darlene Young, who works in Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia’s office as the jobs program coordinator.
“The community has been very supportive, and we appreciate that very much,” said Young. “We’ve done this for the past five years, and it just gets bigger and bigger each year. It’s become contagious in a good way.”
By 2 p.m. Thursday, more 100 people had come through the doors of the South Main Street center, which shares space Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now. And Dumas was still frying delicious turkeys in large pots behind the building.
“It’s a beautiful thing that we can do here at the center,” said Common Councilman Warren Peña, another of the dinner’s organizers. “Working together, it’s what this holiday is all about.”