More than 600 local seniors packed the Killeen Civic and Conference Center on Monday for the annual Giving Thanks Luncheon.
Debbie Edwards, an organizer of the event, said the event has grown annually from the number of local entertainers and donors to the number of seniors attending the event.
“This event is a celebration to bring seniors in the community together so that we can all be thankful and
recognize all of our blessings,” she said. “The program has a thankful message to it. Going into the holiday season, we need to remember to be thankful.
“The whole message we are sending through this program is to appreciate what we have. We have a beautiful city to be thankful for.”
Seniors were treated to a Thanksgiving feast along with several performances by local entertainers.
David Hobson had the room on its feet clapping and singing along with his rendition of “God Bless the USA.”
City Manager Glenn Morrison said he “can’t think of a better way to kick off a week than to come and break bread and be thankful for all that we have.”
“We live in such a great community and a great country,” he said. “Even with our challenges, we still live in the greatest country and community around. I think it’s important to be thankful for that. Just on the heels of Veterans Day where we recognize those men and women in the armed services who protected our freedom for all these years, now leading into the Thanksgiving and the holiday season, what a wonderful time it is to get together and fellowship.”
Attendees also wrote notes on cards left at their tables expressing their gratitude to be sent to servicemen and -women serving overseas.
“We are very fortunate to be able to live in a place where we can come together and fellowship like this just before a holiday that is most special,” said Michael DeHart, the emcee for the event. “(The notes) let them know we think about them, we care about them and we can’t wait to have them back home.”
Guests were treated to entertainment by Sally Williams, Bee Fong Yong, David Hobson and Tommy Harris Sr. and Friends. The Golden Jamm Filipino-American Dancers and Darnette and the Kamaainas Hawaiian Dancers also performed for the crowd.
The event was sponsored by the Veterans of Killeen, the Bob Gilmore Senior Center and the Lions Club Park Senior Center.