Tahoe Community Thanksgiving | Inaugural event inspires many thanks | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Community Thanksgiving | Inaugural event inspires many thanks

Special to the Sun

Courtesy Meera BeserThe inaugural Tahoe Community Thanksgiving included great food, dancing, children's festivities and cloaked in a comfortable and welcoming ambiance.

TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; and#8220;This was the best Thanksgiving I have ever had,and#8221; and#8220;Thank you so much for doing this,and#8221; and#8220;Are you going to do this for Christmas too?and#8221;

These were some of the many comments from people who attended the inaugural Tahoe Community Thanksgiving Celebration Thanksgiving Day at the North Tahoe Event Center. According to comments from volunteers, community members and visitors this event was a huge success.

The event turned out better than expected and was extremely well attended, especially for a first time project. With more than 100 volunteers including and#8220;celebrityand#8221; chef Mark Estes brewing turkey soup in the kitchen, a new-to-the-area DJ (Tre Tuna) spinning tunes and dance instructor Joan Delisio teaching folk and ethnic dances the crowd was well fed and entertained. There was a Kids Corner to amuse the children but many of them had great fun dancing. There was a big screen T.V. with football highlights to keep the diehard sports fans entertained too.

This event was the brainchild of Meera Beser, a longtime business woman and Realtor who has strong community ties and the desire to give back to the people of Tahoe. She first experienced a community Thanksgiving while in Grass Valley more than 20 years ago and was impressed with how much fun it was and how well the concept was received in that area.

and#8220;The most difficult part of planning this event was also the most important part,and#8221; said, Beser which was holding the event on Thanksgiving Day. and#8220;There are many food-related events held all over the community before and after Thanksgiving but nothing on Thanksgiving Day itself. There is a real need emotionally and socially on Thanksgiving Day. Many people have no place they can, or want to go for the holiday. The stress of the holidays contributes to an increased level of abusive situations of all kinds,and#8221; she noted. and#8220;Often holidays bring together the worst dysfunctional parts of a family and family gatherings are no longer an option, but people still want to celebrate. A community Thanksgiving is a great answer because it is more public and not family isolated.and#8221;

Beser was supported in this endeavor by United For Action, a small collaborative of local, current nonprofit and faith-based organizations. United for Action works together in serving the residents of the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee area by identifying areas of unmet needs and helping established organizations to find solutions for these needs. One of the new offshoots of Thanksgiving will be and#8220;Tahoe Neighborhood Tableand#8221; providing hot meals at various dates and location throughout the North Tahoe area during the upcoming winter months.

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and#8220;People are stopping me on the street telling me how they want to be involved next year; we already have a live band on the schedule for Thanksgiving 2012. I canand#8217;t wait to see what else happens,and#8221; said Beser. and#8220;There were so many great people involved from start to finish, that it would be impossible to name them all but they know who they are so we want them to know that they are greatly appreciated for all the hard work and love they put into the project We want to thank everyone involved for making the Inaugural Thanksgiving Celebration into a new Tahoe tradition.and#8221;

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com