Deputy sheriffs cook Thanksgiving turkeys for county seniors
By Justin Wier
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office has helped assemble and deliver Thanksgiving dinners to seniors for more than 10 years, but for the first time, 30 deputies cooked the turkeys themselves this year.
When the group that prepared the turkeys in the past had a conflict this year, Maj. William Cappabianca suggested enlisting the help of the deputies.
Sheriff Jerry Greene said the response was overwhelming, with more than 30 deputies volunteering to cook turkeys on the first day.
“It was [Cappabianca’s] idea, and he didn’t even get to do one because everybody stepped up,” Greene said.
Some deputies put their own spin on the turkeys, including one that was wrapped in bacon.
After gathering in the roll-call room, deputies loaded the turkeys into a truck and they were taken to the Austintown Senior Center.
Volunteers at the senior center packaged them into Thanksgiving dinners, which about 80 volunteers will deliver to about 300 senior citizens today, reserve deputy Bob Schaeffer said.
Sam’s Club donated the 30 turkeys.
In addition to Sam’s and the senior center, Comfort Keepers, Austintown Rotary and YSU nursing students provided help this year, and students from the Poland Local School District wrote notes that will be delivered with the dinners, Schaeffer said.
“Without everybody participating, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Schaeffer said.
Greene said it’s important for his deputies to engage in community outreach.
“It’s always important when in law enforcement, with the type of job we have and the stress we’re under and the unfair perception we sometimes get, that we are constantly giving back, especially during this time of the year,” he said.