"Free Dinner" Helps Fund the Buddy Program

Nov 28, 2013

For well over 20 years, a staple of Aspen's Main Street opens the doors for a "free lunch" for a good cause every Thanksgiving afternoon.

From 11:30am-4pm today, the Hickory House offered an array of traditional favorites - turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, slaw and bread along with a drink and a pumpkin pie, of course, for the low, low price of "free". But, donations - suggested at $5 a plate - would go to help the Buddy Program

Ten minutes after opening, 11:40am, the Hickory House was packed and there was a line out the door to get the traditional chow for dine-in or carry-out.

It was near the front door where I found the Buddy Program's Executive Director David Houggy greeting people. He took a few minutes to explain the day, the value of this fundraising tradition and what his organization strives to do for the 1,000 kids who take part.

Looking around, you could see young and old - grandparents to grandkids - and smiles abounding as families, friends and strangers came together to break bread, give thinks and further the cause of mentoring in the Roaring Fork Valley by raising a fork and putting a little bread in the donation box by the door.