Having 450 friends over for dinner

The Sonoma Community Center is gearing up for a Thanksgiving dinner served free to an expected throng of 450, while Vintage House senior center is planning to prepare closer to 200 meals.

The community center is moving its annual bash from the center to the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building at 126 First St. W.

“We could seat about 150 people at the community center,” said Toni Castrone, the center’s executive director. “Everybody else would have to stand or sit on the steps. We’ll be able to seat 450 this year.”

And it’s going to take a small army of volunteers to feed that many people.

As of Monday, about 30-plus people will be helping chef Gary Edwards prepare food on Wednesday and Thursday. The food will be prepared at the community center, at the Broadway Catering Kitchen and on Thursday at the veterans building kitchen. And another 160 volunteers have signed up to help with the set-up, serving and/or cleanup.

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