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Sixth Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner Promises to Be Largest Ever

Long-time Santa Clara activist Larry Marsalli is gearing up for what has become a Santa Clara tradition: the annual community Thanksgiving dinner.

The dinner got its start in 2007 in a conversation between Marsalli and his daughter. “We all have Thanksgiving every day,” he recalls saying. “I’d like to do something for people who don’t have that.”

In today’s mobile world, there are many reasons why people may not be enjoying a social dinner on this traditional holiday. Some come because friends and family are far away. Some because of hard economic times. And some because the dinner gives the whole family an opportunity to relax together in an increasingly busy world.


For weeks now, Marsalli and his team of dedicated volunteers have been planning and preparing to serve a dinner that’s as homelike as possible – including family recipes for roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

On Thursday, most of the Marsalli clan will be helping out, including newly elected City Council Member Jerry Marsalli who is typically at his post in the St. Clare’s kitchen by 6:00 a.m.

“This year we’re expecting to serve about a thousand people,” says Larry Marsalli. “And we can use all the help we can get.”

Community Thanksgiving will be held on Nov. 22 from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. at St. Clare’s Catholic Church Parish Hall on the corner of Lexington and Lafayette Streets in Santa Clara. There’s no charge and everyone is welcome.

For information about the community Thanksgiving, email or call Larry Marsalli at (408) 296-1791. Donations are welcome year round.

Jerry Marsalli’s Savory Roast Turkey

Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with chopped carrots, onions and celery. Rub vegetable oil on the bird and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, garlic salt, seasoned pepper and paprika. Set the bird on top of the vegetables and roast for about 4 hours at 375°. Also works well for the turkey breast alone.


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