St. Luke Parish in River Forest held two community-focused events on Nov. 20: the 20th-annual Turkey Sunday to benefit Chicago’s Blessed Sacrament ministries, and a pancake breakfast to support St. Luke’s religious education department.

Turkey Sunday

Over 130 families in the North Lawndale and Little Village communities of Chicago received components for complete Thanksgiving dinners as a result of Turkey Sunday, sponsored by St. Luke Parish’s Feed the Hungry Committee. Food donations were collected outside St. Luke’s church and delivered to Blessed Sacrament Church at South Central Park Avenue and Cermak Road in Chicago’s North Lawndale community.

St. Luke “power shopper” Marcee Gavula used the nearly $2,900 in additional cash contributions to round out the food donations. Adult volunteers and teens from St. Luke’s youth ministry joined up with Blessed Sacrament’s youth program to divide up the bounty. As Tony Graefe, one of the event coordinators stated, “This is a team effort. We cannot do this without a lot of people donating their time, talents and vehicles.”

Monice Kavanaugh, O.P. and director of The Learning Center, whose students also benefited from the food distribution said, “I am in awe of the generosity of the St. Luke community. Not really surprised?#34;but feeling once again the power of others’ goodness.” The Learning Center is a community adult center that offers free education to women and men in the North Lawndale and Little Village areas of Chicago. The mission of the center looks to educating adults for effective personal lives, productive employment and positive contribution to the community.

Pancake breakfast

Nearly 200 parishioners of all ages enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the 19th-annual pancake breakfast to help support St. Luke’s religious education program. The food was prepared by religious ed advisory board members, who also provided a craft table for the kids and a raffle table with a variety of donated prizes.

“We have the pancake breakfast to promote building community in the parish,” said Debi DeMario, religious ed director. “Nineteen years ago it started as a way to raise money for the confirmation program. Since that time we’re always had a good turnout, and did what we set out to do: build community among the families that are customers as well as those who do the work.”

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