Monday, November 16, 2009

30th Annual Raul Jimenez Thankgiving Dinner Focuses on Seniors

It's hard to believe that this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, although it is undoubtedly true that the Jimenez Dinner is a San Antonio tradition of which we can all be proud. 

Back in 1979, Raul Jimenez started his annual Turkey Day bash with a focus toward senior citizens in the local community who otherwise wouldn't have a Thanksgiving dinner.  Maybe they couldn't afford it.  Maybe they were alone and couldn't handle all the effort of preparation.  This year, the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner is expected to serve over 25,000 senior citizens (along with anyone else who would like to come).

For those of you who haven't participated in a Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner Event (and these are events, held down at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center), you don't know what you're missing. 

The atmosphere is a happy one.  The place is decorated with bright colors -- there are streamers, and balloons and tablecloths covered with placemats made by local schoolchildren.  There are long tables and hundreds and hundreds of chairs....

It's not a quiet place, either. There is the sound of live music -- a number of bands will play during the day -- along with a constant hum of human chatter and children laughing.  Elderly couples move slowly on the dance floor, and volunteers of all shapes and sizes move along the tables, refreshing tea and soda glasses or perhaps bringing over a second slice of pie. 

There are few occasions where a true sense of camaraderie and community exists in today's society -- and the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner is a wonderful experience.

And it's a truly great news to report that the Volunteer Roster is already full according to the official Jimenez website.  What a wonderful thing that says about our city!!!!