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Volunteers Bring Thanksgiving To Grateful Rockaway Residents

Storm Victims To Be Served Meals Under Heated Tents Starting Wednesday
Rockaway Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner is coming early to storm-ravaged residents of Breezy Point in the Rockaways. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While many were preparing for Thanksgiving on Tuesday night, residents in areas still devastated by Superstorm Sandy were just trying to rebuild their lives.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, some volunteers were working hard to make sure the less fortunate are able to give thanks.

There was an aroma in the air at the end of the storm-damaged Rockaway Peninsula Tuesday night, and there was no mistaking it.

“We have turkey breast,” said volunteer Clifford Wright. “We’ll be doing an early Thanksgiving dinner on Breezy Point tomorrow.”

Turkey and all the fixings were cooked and flash-frozen, ready to be served to storm victims under heated tents beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Volunteers from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi and Virginia have been doing the honors.

Mark Clark and his family came all the way from Ocala, Fla., to help.

“We’re trying to give them a sense of home so they can get back to repairing and rebuilding,” he said.

There has been a lot of that to do. Anne Marie Willis was out of her Breezy Point home, and has been coordinating the delivery of supplies to her neighbors.

“Come January, February, I’m hoping that no one forgets what happened here. I really am,” Willis said. “I’m worried about the winter; the cold weather.”

The volunteers said they will not forget. The fire chief was brought nearly to tears.

“People really do care about each other,” said Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department Chief Edward Valentine. “They say it’s a dog-eat-dog world. It’s not. People really care about each other.”

And for some, that makes all the difference. As to where the next Thanksgiving dinner would be, Mark Coyne of Breezy Point said, “It’s probably going to be right here.”

There has been a sense that this Thanksgiving is delineating what we really have to be thankful for, on the beach at Jamaica Bay, looking at the skyline of Manhattan, along a broken shore that is not

quite beaten.

Meals will be served Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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