Sweetwaters prepares for annual Thanksgiving tradition

Last year Sweetwaters gave away 1,000 coats during its annual coat drive on Thanksgiving Day.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Sweetwaters, a fixture on Church Street, is preparing for the community’s most celebrated dinner. “Our Thanksgiving Day gathering has become a cherished tradition for many volunteers and guests. We are proud to be celebrating our 21st year welcoming guests in for Thanksgiving dinner, great conversation, and good laughs,” said Sweetwaters’ owner, David Melincoff.

For the past two plus decades, Sweetwaters has opened their doors to anyone who would like dinner on Thanksgiving Day. The restaurant will begin serving at 10 am and looks forward to seeing both familiar and new faces each year. Many guests are financially in need, some are students who can’t get home for the holidays, and others have recently lost family members and/or friends. A common purpose amongst everyone, including volunteers, is the feel of togetherness and community.

Over 100 volunteers serve, cook, and clean throughout the day. Many of them have been volunteering for years, and now do so with their kids and other family members. Other volunteers include those who have joined in a past dinner and remember how it feels to be in need and desire to give back.

Coat Drive

Thanksgiving Day begins with a coat drive. This year, Sweetwaters is in particular need of larger size men’s and women’s jackets. Those in need are invited to come to the restaurant to receive a donation starting at 10 am. However, last year, people began lining up at 8:30 am and in one and a half hours, Sweetwaters gave away 1,000 coats.

Please drop your clean winter coats off at the Windjammer restaurant or at the Best Western Hotel, seven days a week 24 hours a day until, Monday Nov. 19. Coats may also be dropped off at the Williston Central School during school hours through Friday, Nov. 16 and directly at Sweetwaters Monday, Nov.19-Wednesday, Nov. 21. Please try to avoid drops off during the middle of lunch and dinner.

Food donations: Baked goods such as pies, cookies, and cakes are always welcome. The restaurant would also like to send those in need home with additional food items.  If you don’t bake but would like to give canned or boxed items, all donations will be greatly appreciated.  Starting on Monday before Thanksgiving right up until Thanksgiving morning, Sweetwaters will be accepting food donations. No need to call, just stop by with those donations!

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