For the past 10 years, Rich Gorres has overseen the Thanksgiving Day Dinners at St. Augustine School in Highland. The dinners are open to everyone and are always free. The Lloyd Police often assist in delivering meals to those who cannot get to the hall.
Ulster County Legislator Gina Hansut recently honored Gorres at a Knights of Columbus meeting at the school.
“First of all, I’m here to say thank you for everything you do as Knights of Columbus. You’re a wonderful organization and I’ve seen you grow over the years,” she said.
Hansut said she wanted to recognize Gorres for his dedication to the annual Thanksgiving Day dinners.
“You were instrumental in getting it off the ground with others and you have remained steadfast in that for the last 10 years; so I just wanted to honor you and say thank you on behalf of everyone in Highland and the surrounding communities,” she said.
Hansut presented Gorres with a Pride of Ulster County Proclamation, which reads, “presented by the Ulster County Legislature to Richard Gorres in honor and recognition of a decade of commitment and service to community by providing comfort and nourishment to those in need and in celebration of a successful annual Thanksgiving Dinner.”
Hansut said Gorres’ dedication in keeping the dinners going comes, “at a time where there is food inequity and there is food shortage; I see it in schools, I see it in our communities more than ever and what you do is wonderful and thank you.”
In a subsequent interview, Hansut said she was thinking about the Highland community, “as a whole and about people who make a positive impact and how I would like to recognize some of them and Rich was the first one who came to mind. Other people have come and gone but Rich has been there for the whole 10 years and I know he does it just as a labor of love.”
Gorres said being honored by the Legislature was a surprise and thanked Hansut.
“She’s a good lady, and her and her father [Daniel] did a lot for this parish, so I appreciate it,” he said.
When asked if he would be back for the 11th year, Rich responded, “I guess I’ll be here; they will have to carry me out kicking and screaming because I honestly don’t know if there will be anyone else who will do it.”
Gorres singled out chef Mark Schmidt and Sal Timperio [of Sal’s Place], who cooks all of the turkeys, for their invaluable help over the years.
“They are the linchpins of the dinners. They’ll be back this year,” he said.