42nd Annual Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving Dinner: A Baltimore Tradition of Kindness

2023-11-24 00:22:36

BALTIMORE — The 42nd annual Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving Dinner began with a prayer on Thursday.

But years ago, it started with a lottery ticket.

Bea Gaddy won a $250 prize in 1981 and used that money to feed dozens of people on Thanksgiving Day.

That one act of kindness blossomed into a tradition that has lived on following the death of Gaddy.

Shirleene Prioleau, an organizer with Bea Gaddy Family Centers, said people saw the outcome of Gaddy’s efforts and “started providing her with stuff to be able to share.”

That’s how the Thanksgiving Dinner grew over time, she said.

People came from all over the city to partake in the annual act of kindness.

The City of Baltimore provided bus service to the event, transporting people to Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center in Cherry Hill.

The Cherry Hill center is new to Bea Gaddy Family Centers, which hosted its annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Patterson Park Recreation Center in the past.

Volunteers, including Mayor Brandon Scott, served up hot plates of warm food.

Bea Gaddy Family Centers Provided to-go boxes and pantry items for people to take home food and goods.

“Bea Gaddy and what she started here is something Baltimore should be quite proud of,” volunteer Richard Abrahams said.

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