The Pike County Sheriff’s Office Junior Deputies, Vanguard Ministries, and the Pike County Department of Veterans Affairs will sponsor the fourth-annual Thanksgiving Dinner with a Veteran event on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pike County Sheriff’’s Office.
“We do this event every year to honor veterans for their service to our country,” said Junior Deputy Program supervisor, Chief Deputy Ryan Bentley. “ It’s a free-of-charge, home-cooked meal served by the Junior Deputies.”
“Following the dinner, Sheriff (Charles) Reader will present attending veterans with a flag and certificate in honor of their service in the military,” Bentley said.
“Sheriff Reader is the one who puts this on,” Bentley said. “The Sheriff wants us to do the Veteran’s Dinner and Secret Santa every year, just like the Halloween Bash — that’s an (event) sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office.”
“This is something we do as a community outreach,” said Bentley. “(Sheriff Reader) started it the first year he was appointed and we’ve done it every year since then.”
Sheriff Reader buys the turkey and helps serve it, according to Bentley.
“The food is all cooked and donated by our staff,” Bentley said. “Vanguard Ministries said they wanted to do the chicken noodles and mashed potatoes this year.”
Bentley said Vanguard Ministries had approached the Sheriff’s Office about assisting them with community outreach projects this year.
“I told them about the Veterans Dinner coming up and they said they would like to help with that,” said Bentley. “We like to have as much community involvement as we can. It takes a whole community to brighten the future for the kids.”
Around 30 Junior Deputies currenty participate in the Pike Junior Deputy program, according to Bentley.
“We try to involve the youth ages seven to 17, try to give them guidance and show them you don’t have to use drugs to have fun and give back to your community,” Bentley said.
“Another upcoming event is Sheriff Reader’s Secret Santa,” Bentley said.
“Last year we were able to provide for 189 kids,” said Bentley.
Applications for the Secret Santa program can be picked up at the Sheriff’s Office from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1.
“Anyone wanting to make a monetary donation or a donation of a new toy, coat, hat, or gloves, please contact Chief Deputy Ryan Bentley or Sgt, Bryan Robinson at the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 947-2111,” Bentley said.