For the past nine Thanksgivings, University staffers and Culinart Café staff have met on campus before dawn. They cook and pack holiday food to deliver to the Cheltenham and Jenkintown police departments so that officers and staff can enjoy a traditional holiday meal while on duty. For the past two years, the group also has delivered meals to the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society in Cheltenham. The facility offers no-cost lodging to patients who are undergoing cancer treatment in the Philadelphia area.
The brainchild of assistant bursar, Dave Wisher, the Salus Thanksgiving crew has had a few cast changes over the years, but a few “originals” remain to pass on their experience and teach the newcomers. Two of the originals received surprise special recognition for their service this year.
Chrystyna Colon, daughter of Salus bursar, Esther Colon, and Kevin McClure ’19OD, son of Salus vice president of strategic planning, Dr. Lawrence McClure, began their Thanksgiving service in middle school and continued through high school and college. Now college graduates – Class of 2015; Chrystyna from Bryn Mawr and Kevin from Penn State - the University presented them with plaques of appreciation for their efforts. In a further surprise, the Cheltenham Police Department had plaques of their own for the duo.
Salus “original” staff members, Dave Wisher, Larry McClure and Esther Colon, were joined this year by President Mittelman and his family (for the third year), Patty Burke, assistant registrar and Wayne Pancza, director of safety and security. Lisa Blade was on hand from Culinart and together the group prepared fifteen turkeys plus all the trimmings, creating about 100 meals for those who could not be home for Thanksgiving.