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Turkey Brigade feeds local families

Three tractor-trailers full of turkeys and all the trimmings pulled into the Rose and Womble Realty parking lot in Harbour View early Monday morning.

The morning marked the 26th annual Turkey Brigade for the Rose and Womble Foundation.

The event, started by Rose and Womble employee Bea Cobell, featured 3,031 turkeys and over 98,000 pounds of food, and Cobell was amazed at the growth.

“Our first year started out with me going and raising money. Then I went and got enough food for three baskets, and it was so much fun,” Cobell said.

Cobell had such an amazing time with just a few coworkers that they decided to keep going. After some time, Rose and Womble noticed what they were doing and started its own foundation, and now Cobell is vice president.

For Cobell, the last two decades have gone well, and she hopes that it can continue for another two decades and hopefully forever.

Now, instead of negotiating the best price for turkeys with local grocery stores, the foundation has partnered with Deltaville Market to get the turkeys and all the fixings.

“It’s very rewarding to be a part of a group helping people in need,” said Deltaville Market owner Cliff Williams. “It’s great being here with all the volunteers and watching this come together.”

Cobell will never stop being surprised by the generosity of those at Deltaville Market and Rose and Womble. The group also receives help every year from SuperValu, the company that owned Farm Fresh. Cobell said that employees come from all over the state to help out with the one-day event.

“It’s an incredible feeling. We are actually helping someone that gets to sit down and have a meal that wouldn’t normally have one,” Cobell said. “It’s a miracle that these people give up their time, money and energy to put in this kind of work.”

While each family receives typical Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, Cobell was even happier that pumpkin cookies had been donated this year.

“I love the added surprise for them,” Cobell said. “It’s amazing that the goodness doesn’t stop here. It keeps going until it gets to the people.”