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Amvets Post 4 ready to cook up Christmas feast in Massena

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MASSENA - An annual event that has been around for approximately nine years will make its return on Christmas Day.

Gerald R. Roy Amvets Post 4, 12 Andrews St., Massena, will once again open its doors and invite the community in that afternoon for a full-fledged turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

“They’ve been doing it for a long while,” according to Commander Francis “Bud” Byington, who said the meal has been offered well before he started his term as commander three years ago.

“It’s just what we do. It’s something to give back to the community. If they want to come, they’re welcome,” Mr. Byington said.

Tuesday’s meal, which runs from 1 - 4 p.m., includes turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, squash, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie - all for free and open to anyone.

“We buy it, and the Auxiliary cooks it. The Auxiliary does all the food,” he said.

They’ll be ready to feed an army, with 26 turkey breasts and 150 pounds of potatoes.

“We have huge turkey breasts. There’s no waste to them. We used to get regular turkeys. When they were all done, people were fighting over the bones,” Mr. Byington said.

It’s the season for giving and that’s exactly what the members of the Amvets and their Auxiliary will be doing on Christmas, whether it’s peeling the potatoes or cooking, manning the kitchen and the serving line or hitting the road to make deliveries.

“We have a good crew. They’ve been volunteering right and left. We have a sign-up list for people to bring pies and stuff like that. We have a sign-up list for people to do deliveries. It works out real good. They seem to be glad to do it. They started calling me about three or four weeks ago and said, ‘Are you going to need help down there?’ Everybody chips in and helps out,” he said.

Many people enjoy the holiday conversation and their meal at the Amvets post.

“It’s surprising some of the people who come. It’s people from all walks. I’ve seen people in there that own a business, but they feel rather than cook they’d rather have somebody else cook it,” Mr. Byington said.

For others who aren’t able to get out, delivery drivers will be available. Deliveries can be arranged by calling 764-0686.

They also make sure on-duty members of local organizations like the Massena Police Department, Massena Fire Department and Massena Volunteer Rescue Squad also receive meals.

“We make sure they all get it,” Mr. Byington said.

And whatever food is left over is also put to good use, with the Amvets delivering it to the residents of Valehaven Home for Adults.

“We call her ahead of time and let her know. Boy, they’re waiting for it too,” he said. “The last time we took it in there, people were sitting there and they jumped right up.”

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