By KATHLEEN SHAW
Daily News-Record 11/22/19
Beyond sharing in gluttonous face-stuffing over the table, Thanksgiving is a time to sit and reflect on blessings and good fortunes.
For many families, the traditional notions of a Thanksgiving feast are out of reach. Either they are away from home and loved ones or financially struggling to pack a table with enough food to feed all the mouths gathered around it. Whatever the case, Massanutten Resort is working to provide families with food for the holidays.
On Thursday, the resort has a variety of options for locals and patrons to enjoy a classic Thanksgiving meal. For fi ne dining, Campfire Grill will serve an intimate lunch and dinner, while Blue Ridge Buffet provides a more casual dining option. This year, guests can also order their meals to go.
The buffet has served approximately 1,000 visitors each year for the past 10 years. Campfire Grill opened in 2017 and seats between 500 and 700 guests each Thanksgiving.
Marissa Andrick, marketing and media specialist for Massanutten Resort, said early afternoon and late evening are the best times for guests to arrive and get a meal without a long wait.
“For the buffet, we try to stick to the traditional sides and fixings that everyone expects with turkey and stuffing,” Andrick said. “The issue with that is because some families don’t want to wait, it kind of hurts the experience because the buffet is so popular sometimes the wait is half an hour to be seated.”
Both the buffet and grill are serving food from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, and the menus are available online. Costs for the buffet are $16.95 for adults, $8.95 for children younger than 13 and free for children younger than 3. Parties of more than seven can reserve seats by calling (540) 437-3390. Campfire Grill charges $ 39.95 per person and includes an appetizer bar, one entree, two sides and a dessert.
Thanksgiving dinner is available for pickup from Massanutten Conference Center from noon to 4 p.m. People can look at the menu and order online before Wednesday or until it sells out.
For families that cannot afford the luxury of going out and eating a gourmet meal, the resort’s Woodstone Meadows Golf Course is hosting its seventh annual Turkey Bowl Golf Tournament on Nov. 30 to raise awareness and collect food for Elkton Area United Services’ food pantry.
Players form teams of four with a combined handicap of 45-plus at a cost of $40 and a 10-pound turkey per player to compete in the 18-hole round captain’s choice tournament. General price is $49 for similar golfing, but golf operations manager Brett Mowbray said the price is reduced to encourage participants to come out and support those in need.
Mowbray grew up in Elkton and wanted to give back to his community, so the event was created seven years ago to bring in more food for neighbors in need.
“It’s trying to do something to give back to our community, and I know a lot of people who play in it are from Elkton, and they know it goes to a great cause,” Mowbray said. “I remember showing up one time and there was this long line of people picking up turkeys, and I knew quite a number of people in line. It makes you look at things differently.”
Prizes are awarded to first, second and third place as well as “closest to the pin” in gift certificates for the course.
According to Marsha Keck Deavers, executive director of EAUS, over 500 households in the 22827 ZIP code, which has about 4,000 households total, get food from the pantry. Deavers said the tournament collects approximately 50 turkeys each year, and the resort is one of the organization’s primary long-term partners.
“Without Massanutten Resort’s golf tournament, we wouldn’t be able to provide every household with a turkey,” Deavers said.
Interested donors can drop off turkeys at the course’s golf shop, and players can register for the event online.
To receive a food box from the pantry, individuals must live in the ZIP code and meet with the organization’s client services manager to ensure they qualify within the federally mandated income guidelines.
General distribution days are the third Wednesday and Friday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Senior citizens collect food on the first Tuesday of the month, produce days are Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and produce and bakery items are available on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.