November 27, 2018 / Brooklyn news / Bay Ridge / Brooklyn Is Awesome

Filled them up: Do-gooders serve Coney Islanders free Thanksgiving feast

Done good: Cindy Godla and Melanie Hirsch of the Alliance for Coney Island joined more than 30 volunteers and reps from other do-good groups to serve a free feast to more than 1,200 locals on Thanksgiving Day.
Brooklyn Paper
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They gobbled Thanksgiving Day away!

Some 1,200 Brooklynites in need chowed down on a free feast that more than 30 do-gooders came together to serve at a Coney Island church on Thanksgiving Day.

Leaders of the Coney Island Gospel Assembly welcomed hungry guests to the house of worship, along with reps from other host businesses and organizations, without all of whom, this year’s massive meal would not have happened, according to a rep for a co-organizer.

“Without the collaboration of the sponsoring businesses, the Thanksgiving feast would not have been possible,” said Alexandra Silversmith, the executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, which staged the annual event with Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island) and the Gospel Assembly’s clergy.

The family that owns local Italian eatery Gargiulo’s donated much of the five-hour feast’s food, including 125 turkeys, 750 pounds of potatoes, and 50 pumpkin and apple pies, according to Gargiulo’s co-owner Nino Russo.

And bigwigs at Luna Park donated string-bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and paper plates and utensils, Russo added.

The restaurateur’s employees spent days preparing the grub, and watching the food put smiles on locals’ faces as they cleared their plates made every second of effort worth it, he said.

“It’s a lot of work — my staffed cooked for three days,” Russo said. “But it’s a joy to do it.”

Other neighborhood institutions that helped put together this year’s meal included Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the New York Aquarium, and the Brooklyn Cyclones.

And more than two dozen volunteers, including police officers and reps for participating groups, donated their time to serve the grub, according to Alliance spokeswoman Cindy Godla.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 12:00 am, November 27, 2018
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