DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown gave away 50 turkeys to seniors at the Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia on Nov. 12. The turkeys, donated by Costco, Honey-baked Ham, Kroger and Sam’s Club, were raffled during the inaugural DeKalb Sheriff’s Turkey Trot.
Also raffled were items such as candles, a clipboard, a roasting pan, a candy jar, notepads and lotions.
Brown told the attendees the Turkey Trot was the department’s way of “thanking you for your contribution to the community…in training the next generation.” It’s difficult for the Sheriff’s office to stay in contact with the community, Brown said. The seniors have shaped the next generation and “in many respects they’re just like veterans who have served their country.”
Brown told the seniors that he had to come visit them because “you never get locked up so I never see you,” Brown said. “I’ve got some of your grandsons, so we’ve got to work on that.”
Norma Gary, who goes to the senior center every day, said it was “wonderful” to win a turkey. Gary, a former school cafeteria worker, said she does all the cooking for her extended family of nine.
“I don’t know if I would have had a turkey” for Thanksgiving, said Gary, who will be getting additional food for her Thanksgiving meal from her church.
Brown told the turkey winners to enjoy the turkey if they could not afford one, but “if you don’t need this turkey, you pass it to someone else.”
Another turkey winner, Mary Woodard, said the giveaway was an excellent idea. “I am going to share the turkey with my family and another family,” she said.
As he raffled the turkeys, Brown told the crowd of his family’s Thanksgiving tradition. He said when he was younger his family “always liked to fight over the turkey butt. That’s a good piece of meat.”
Brown entertained the seniors throughout the event with a cell phone comedy routine, pretending to get phone calls from government leaders such as President Barack Obama and later from Michelle Obama. He even pretended to give instructions to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“I am sought after,” Brown said.
At one point, Brown asked the seniors who were single and had won a bottle of lotion to raise their hands. Then he asked whether they wanted his Chief Deputy Jeffrey Mann “to lotion your feet? ‘Cause he’s single, too.”