Big Holiday Meal for Residents Thanks to Bryan Woman

Normally, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Bryan plays host to crowds on Sundays ready to worship, but on Thanksgiving Day, it also hosts an annual tradition organized by a proud Bryan resident. This year, it reached a big milestone.

For 20 years, a hearty holiday feast has been organized by one Bryan woman: Gloria Kennard.

"Time goes by real fast when you're doing something good," she said.

Back in 1988, Kennard first had the idea that people who might be in need of a traditional feast should get one, and she brought it up with her pastor.

"I said, 'I need to do a Thanksgiving meal,'" she recalled. "He said, 'praise the Lord.' So I just got it organized."

For the first year, Kennard says 65 plates were served up. Now, an army of volunteers puts together some 400 meals each Thanksgiving, for here or to go, and even for delivery.

Who pays for the meals? A lot of it is out of Gloria's pocket.

"I pay quite a bit, but it comes from friends, family, church members, the First National Bank, and other people just know that I'm doing it, and they come in and bring food," she said.

"I just get it all organized, but it is a lot of work, a lot of planning, preparation and money," Kennard added.

But those aren't obstacles for one Bryan woman whose giving has a lot saying, "thanks."

"It is a good day, and it also means that I have so much to be thankful for," she said. "That's why I'm giving back to the community."

As for how long Kennard is going to keep the tradition going, she said she sees herself putting the dinner together for another five years to make it 25 total.


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