‘Turkey Brigade’ once again delivers

Published 11:09 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

In the early hours of Thursday morning, dozens of volunteers from Rose and Womble Realty, Deltaville Market, SuperValu Foods and elsewhere prepared Thanksgiving tidings for more families than ever at the Rose and Womble office in Harbour View.

The “2017 Turkey Brigade” marked the 25th year the company provided meals to those in need with help from its charitable foundation and other supporters. The Rose and Womble Foundation delivered 1,350 baskets in 2016, each one with enough to feed families of four to six people, said Rose and Womble Foundation Vice President Bea CoBell.

Each delivery includes a 10-pound turkey, six cans of vegetables, two boxes of stuffing, cranberry sauce, a five-pound bag of potatoes, a bag of apples, two cans of gravy, dinner rolls and an aluminum baking pan, CoBell said.

Email newsletter signup

“We want them to have plenty,” CoBell said. “Part of the fun is having leftovers.”

For their 25th anniversary, three SuperValu trucks arrived to the Harbour View office at the crack of dawn. They carried a combined total of 85,000 pounds of donated food, Deltaville owner Cliff Williams said.

Cobell said they wanted to help at least 2,500 families this year. They passed their goal with approximately 2,586 baskets.

“These families are just going to be blessed today with lots of food,” said Rose and Womble real estate agent Christina Kreutter.

Families are located through churches, nonprofits, housing organizations and social services. Employees fundraise for the baskets, valued at $25 each.

Kreutter said even more food was bought and collected by Rose and Womble agents for “supersized” baskets meant for larger families, some with as many as 12 members. The resale office will deliver baskets to 112 families on their list, 18 of which are “supersized,” Kreutter said.

“These agents went above and beyond,” she said.

Volunteers sorted the food off the trucks and organized it in reusable, blue grocery bags.

Real estate agent Gene Grady worked in his themed T-shirt from “Turkey Brigade 2010,” when they supported 650 families. Grady said he’s amazed how much their efforts have grown from those early years dating back even further, when they just drove to grocery stores for smaller quantities.

“It’s a well-oiled machine now,” Grady said.

This was the 10th year Cliff Williams and his wife Debbie have helped the “Turkey Brigade” with friends and family, Williams said.

He said it was a holiday season kickoff that they look forward to every year.

“In my business, I see a lot of families in need,” Williams said. “Just this little part that we do is gratification that we’re taking a step to help their holiday needs.”