One hundred of the less fortunate families in the local area will have a nice holiday meal - thanks to a community outreach effort of Lehighton Ford, in conjunction with Mallard Market.
On Monday afternoon Kent Newhart, CEO and president of Lehighton Ford and Frank Kuhn, owner of Mallard Market, assisted handing out 100 turkeys, 100 bags of 10 lbs. of potatoes, 100 cans of corn, 100 cans of green beans, and 100 cans of cranberry sauce to 10 local churches. The churches choose the recipients of each of the 10 meals.
Newhart and Kuhn gathered with the representatives of the 10 churches to offer comments before the distribution took place.
"We're so glad to have you all here," said Newhart. "This is such a meaningful time of the year."
Kuhn said that he was pleased with the community's outpouring of support to the less fortunate this year, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.
"I've never seen so much outreach from the community as this year," said Kuhn. "It's the regular folks who have been giving back. It's so heartwarming."
"What happened in Connecticut and with Sandy has gotten us all upset," said Newhart. He said that over the weekend he was inside a church in Queens, N.Y., and he heard the hymn, "All is Well," and realized that not all is well. He added that it was up to the community to help our fellow members. We all have to do our part," added Newhart.
Newhart then led a prayer that asked God to watch over everyone and to bless everyone, no matter what color or religion.
"We are hoping that this outreach sparks others to care for the families in need," said Newhart.
In the spirit of friendship, each of the representatives of the 10 churches assisted each other with loading the food baskets into vehicles.
Churches represented were: St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Towamensing Township, the Rev. Jody Neifert; St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Lehighton, the Rev. Michael Ahrensfield and Ann Wilhem; Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Carolyn and Ron Long; First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Lois Randolph; People's Evangelical Church, the Rev. Ken Ogden; Lighthouse Baptist Church, the Rev. Marshall Wolverton and Nathan Fuller; All Saints Episcopal Church, Annette Muffley; Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church, the Rev. Doug Evans; Christ Evangelical Church, the Rev. Greg Laible; and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Weissport, Joanne Koons and Richard Heine.
John Krebs, service department manager, was the coordinator of the Annual Turkey Giveaway. Lehighton Ford donates 100 turkeys, 100 cans of corn and 100 cans of green beans, and Mallard Market, Lehighton, provides 100 10 lb. bags of fresh potatoes and 100 cans of cranberry sauce.
Krebs said that the community outreach is a combination of the efforts of Kent Newhart, CEO and president of Lehighton Ford and Frank Kuhn, owner of Mallard Market.
The giving ties back to a key point in the Lehighton Ford Mission Statement: "We will continually recognize our responsibility to the communities and environment in which we live and work. Lehighton Ford would like to help support the community that supports us."