Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, and for most of us that means three very important things: family, food and football.
But it also means generosity, giving back and helping those who are in short supply of those things, and so far this month the people of Amesbury have really come together to support those in the community who are struggling.
On Election Day, Our Neighbors’ Table collected thousands of dollars worth of food and donations during their food drive at the polling stations. The police followed that up with a fruitful “Fill a Cruiser” drive this past weekend, and even over the border, the Newburyport Salvation Army faced a severe turkey shortage until its constituents rallied.
Today, newly re-elected U.S. Rep. John Tierney will be helping Community Action, Inc. hand out Thanksgiving baskets at 1:30 p.m. Tierney and Community Action will be at 44 Friend St., and while he’s in town, Tierney will be also be listening to what the local community leaders have to say about the impact budget cuts could have on their operations.
Then, on Thanksgiving Day, the all-sports booster clubs from Amesbury and Newburyport will team up for the third annual Amesbury-Newburyport Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Collection sites will be set up at Landry Memorial Stadium in Amesbury prior to the Thanksgiving Day showdown between the Indians and the Clippers, and non-perishable food donations will be accepted starting at 8:30 a.m.
All food collected will be donated to Our Neighbors’ Table in Amesbury, and the items needed most are peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruit and vegetables, canned beef stew and canned soups, boxed pasta, cereal, pasta sauce, healthy snacks for kids and shampoo.
Amesbury and Newburyport may be united in their support for local families in need, but when it comes to football, Thanksgiving Day means war.
Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game between the Indians and Clippers will serve as the de facto Cape Ann League championship game. Amesbury is 8-2 on the season and has an undefeated record in CAL play, while Newburyport is 6-4 but 3-1 in league play.
The Clippers have been bolstered by the return of star quarterback Connor Wile, who missed the first half of the season recovering from a serious shoulder injury suffered in the spring. Wile returned for the start of league play and led the Clippers to three straight wins before coming up short against Winthrop last week.
Meanwhile, Amesbury quarterback Matt Talbot has guided the high-scoring Indians to seven straight wins after a 1-2 start to the season. The Indians scored 35 points or more in five consecutive games but have played much tighter games the past two weeks, eeking out a 1-point win at Pentucket last week.
There will be plenty more on this game in our sports section later this week, so make sure you check it out for comprehensive coverage of the big game.
The Amesbury Police Officers’ Association will be holding a fundraiser tonight at Flatbread Company. Between 5 and 9 p.m. a portion of the proceeds of every pizza sold, both dine-in and take-out, will be donated to benefit the APOA, which will then be used to provide assistance to several of the community service organizations in Amesbury.
Among the APOA’s partners are the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, the Amesbury VFW, the Pettingill House, the Council on Aging, Our Neighbors’ Table and many others. There will also be a raffle featuring $150 worth of lottery tickets.
If you can’t make it to Flatbread tonight, there will also be a raffle benefiting the Amesbury High School Grad Night coming up on Dec. 1.
Raffle tickets cost $10 or three for $25, and first prize will be a laptop, second prize a Kindle Fire and third prize a Nintendo Wii. Tickets will be available for sale at the high school or through Grad Night president Kerry Richard, who works at Cutters Plus at 43 Friend St. and can be reached at 978-852-4026.
All proceeds for the raffle will go towards the AHS Grad Night, which is the annual night of activities for the AHS seniors after they graduate.
Trash Talk: During last week’s City Council meeting, Department of Public Works administrative assistant Laurie Pierce was asked if there was a way batteries could be recycled, given how toxic they are.
“Unfortunately they have to go in the trash,” Pierce said. “There have been several plants and businesses that have tried to recycle batteries, and unfortunately, a few of those plants have caught on fire.”
One last quick Thanksgiving note: if you have any business to take care of at City Hall, make sure you do so by Wednesday. City Hall will be closed for Thanksgiving on both Thursday and Friday and won’t reopen again until next Monday.
The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public.
School Committee Personnel Subcommittee Meeting, 6 p.m., Amesbury High School
School Committee Meeting, 7 p.m., Amesbury High School Library
Cultural Council Meeting, 7 p.m., 37 Millyard Park
Planning Board, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium
Staff Writer Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.