Thousands of Charleston residents receive Thanksgiving feast tha - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Thousands of Charleston residents receive Thanksgiving feast thanks to one man

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CHARLESTON, WV -

Every family has their own Thanksgiving traditions.  The family of Frank Veltri has made their Thanksgiving tradition include thousands of strangers since 1966 when Veltri began inviting strangers to his Thanksgiving table.  Since then the tradition has grown each year.  Matteo and Tori Romeo are grandchildren of Veltri.  Every year they help keep the legacy of their grandfather alive by serving dinner to the less fortunate.  This is the only Thanksgiving they have ever known.

Frank Veltri passed away in 2001, but he made sure no one would go hungry by leaving behind an escrow accountant to finance thanksgiving feasts in the future.  First time volunteer, Irene Williams, says there are people out there that need food and since she has time, why not use it in a good way.

About 100 volunteers spend days preparing roughly 3,000 Thanksgiving meals.  Gerald Gary is also volunteering for the first time today.  He's paying it forward because he has been needy a few times and was helped out by others.  He says an experience like that touches your heart.

This dinner is a tradition that many hope will continue for generations.  Tori Romeo says, "I want my kids to be able to do this".

Every year the Frank Veltri dinner gets bigger and bigger.  Volunteers are needed the most the two days before Thanksgiving for food preparation and for cleanup on Thanksgiving.