HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – The dining room at Hudson’s Seafood on Hilton Head Island was packed Thursday for the 20th annual community Thanksgiving meal.
The restaurant transforms into a family style feast each year, where guests sit and eat together, even if they’ve only just met.
“It totally blows me away every year,” owner Andrew Carmines said. “It’s like over the course of the year, you forget how good it makes you feel.”
More than 90 turkeys, dressing and all the trimmings were served up by 350 volunteers for nearly four hours. Volunteers said it was worth all the hard work.
“I tell everyone about this,” volunteer Kristi Horwitz said. “I’m so proud of what they do. It really brings the community together, and this is how it should be.”
Allan Lacoe celebrated his birthday at the event this year. He’s a regular at the Hudson’s Seafood Thanksgiving dinner.
“It’s a wonderful experience. It’s just such a giving experience, and the people that come year after year after year,” Lacoe said. “There’s always something great that happens every year.”
The food is completely free to anyone who shows up, but there are donation jars on the tables for Deep Well Project and Bluffton Self Help. Sandy Gillis from Deep Well Project said she is thankful for a meal like this.
“Thanksgiving, you talk about the food and you get caught up in that, but it’s really about who’s around the table, not just what’s on the table,” Gillis said.