From left, Paul Angelo of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Our Lady of the Mountains Church, Sierra Vista, receives frozen turkeys from Randy Keiller of the Huachuca Gould’s Chapter, National Wild Turkey Federation and John Millican, NWTF HGC president. The local St. Vincent de Paul Society organization will redistribute the birds to local families in need in time for Thanksgiving.

For the 14th year, the Huachuca Gould’s Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and partners provided the main course for southern Cochise County Thanksgiving dinners through the Turkey Hunters Care program.

On Nov. 25, nine NWTF volunteers delivered 220 frozen turkeys, 2908.5 pounds of poultry, to eight local charities and organizations, as well as selected families. Funding came from the Arizona State and Huachuca Gould’s chapters of the NWTF, a Walmart grant and private donations. Delivery locations included Benson, Whetstone, Huachuca City and Sierra Vista.

The Huachuca Gould’s chapter’s effort is part of the nation-wide NWTF Turkey Hunters Care program, which provides Thanksgiving turkeys to families in need through supporting, local organizations.

The volunteers, aided by the store crew, loaded the birds at the Benson Walmart (No. 3807) early Monday morning. From there, trucks staffed by NWTF volunteers shuttled the turkeys to the recipients. New roosts for the birds this year included the Benson Food Bank, Mustang Mountain Cowboy Church and Whetstone Fire Department. In Sierra Vista birds were released at the Forgach House, Our Lady of the Mountains Church (St. Vincent de Paul), Hoop’s House, Salvation Army and Peach’s Pantry.

Wayne Kaiser, chapter treasurer, purchased and helped deliver the turkeys, secured donations and a grant, and coordinated with each charity receiving the available birds. Randy Keiller, Dave Winiesdorffer, Tom Fuller, Ryan Catlett, Dave Kemnitz, Bob Pourier, John Millican and Tom Deecken assisted with deliveries.

Special thanks go to the following donors for their support, totaling over $2,000: Walmart Store No. 3807 (Benson), Rene and Inge Dube, Dr. Sullivan, Harvey Plumbing, Tom Deecken, Downey, Scott and Joan Vasey, Tim Doser of State Farm Insurance and the Arizona and Huachuca Gould’s Chapters of the NWTF.

Further recognition goes to Benson Walmart Store No. 3807. Their $500 grant helped put additional birds on Thanksgiving tables. Scott Olson (store manager), Jolene Hellard, Jacob Lewis and Lindsey Gonzales, Walmart employees, assisted.

Submitted by the NWTF, Huachuca Gould’s Chapter

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