Councilman Daniel Galeski (left) and Mayor Joseph Peterson (third from left) greet Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner guests.
Wyandotte Explorer Post 1818 helped prepare and serve meals to the Salvation Army’s guests. Volunteers include Councilman Daniel Galeski (left), group leader and Wyandotte detective Scott Galeski, Rebecca Woytowicz, Josh Mitroka, Delaney Cade, Devin Cade, group leader and Michigan State Police Officer Kowalski, Mark Moritz, Sami Michael, Freddie Harshbarger and Mayor Joseph Peterson.
Mayor Joseph Peterson (center) greets 10-month-old Jerod and his 3-year-old sister Lucy (at left). The children’s family had come to help serve the meal, but since there were already many volunteers, the children were encouraged to stay and eat.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Like many politicians, Mayor Joseph Peterson and Councilman Daniel Galeski know how to talk turkey.
On Thanksgiving Day they proved they could cook and serve it, too.
The Salvation Army, 1258 Biddle, served a special Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who walked through the door. This year the charitable organization formed a soup kitchen and started serving from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays and 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Daniel Galeski, who is on the Salvation Army’s advisory board, had asked Peterson to come cook on Thanksgiving Day. Peterson has helped the Salvation Army in the past as a bell ringer.
The group expected to feed 50 to 70 people – but they made food for a hundred.
“This is tough times for people – not just the homeless,” said Peterson. “Some just want to sit down and talk with the mayor. We turn positives into negatives.
“We could all be somewhere else,” said Peterson. “We accept the challenge of being with someone in need. A meal fills your stomach – happiness fills your heart.”
The cooking started at 7:30 a.m. in the morning in the Salvation Army community center’s basement. Volunteers peeled and cut 100 pounds of potatoes, prepared 40 pounds of turkey, four big trays of green bean casserole, and opened 36 cans of cranberry sauce.
The volunteers included fourteen youth from Wyandotte Explorer Post 1818. The coed group of high school and college-age youth is career-oriented and is focused on law enforcement. Detective Scott Galeski, Daniel Galeski’s son, is one of the post’s captains. With 45 members on its roster, Scott Galeski says its one of the largest explorer posts in the country.
Peterson, who comes from a large family, feels like part of a larger clan.
“The people of the city are my family,” said Peterson. “It’s like having two Thanksgivings.”