T-day at La Puente is just like family

ALAMOSA — “It’s really like a family, people watching football, kids you can’t corral outside and mom wanting people to sit down and behave themselves,” La Puente Director Lance Cheslock commented as folks gathered for the shelter-hosted annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

“It’s a real family. I love it.”

This family would consume 25 turkeys, 150 pounds of mashed potatoes and dozens of veggies and pieces of pie.

“We are expecting 200 folks today,” La Puente’s Community Education Coordinator

Israel García said as diners began to find their places at the cheerfully decorated tables inside the shelter and in the backyard.

He added that 60 volunteers made the dinner possible through their gifts of food, time and money.

In addition, Pepsi and Coca Cola donated drinks for the afternoon meal. The Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the fixings was served right to the tables, which were prepped with butter, cranberry sauce, fresh veggie plates and mint/nut cups.

Keeping with tradition, Cheslock provided live instrumental music as volunteers delivered dinners to the tables.

Before giving the blessing to begin the annual Thanksgiving dinner, Cheslock acknowledged all those who had a hand in the meal, from the Colorado Springs church that donated many of the turkeys to those who helped cook them, since the shelter ovens couldn’t handle the volume.

He thanked Paul Patterson for his years of heading up the kitchen crew.

From volunteers and guests Cheslock collected lists of what folks were thankful for:

Don was grateful for family, spending Thanksgiving with family and “lumpy potatoes.”

Karen was grateful for her daughter who was born on November 23, which this year was Thanksgiving Day.

Jeremiah was grateful to get out of bed.

Debbie, who had stayed next to the shelter while it was renovated and came back for Thanksgiving dinner this year, was grateful for La Puente and that now she has her own home.

Tim was grateful to be alive.

Mario was grateful he didn’t have to cook.

Ron was grateful for the insight that allowed him to see past his desperation and find peace and not to live life as a victim.

Cheslock concluded with a prayer thanking “our loving God and the faith we hold in our hearts and the way our community comes together.”

Caption: Josh, left, serves Flower during La Puente’s Thanksgiving Day dinner in Alamosa. Courier photos by Ruth Heide

face painting

Sarah, right, adds some autumn flair to Jackson’s face in the entryway at La Puente.

Jim the nut guy

Jim Grant makes sure the nut/mint cups are full and delivered to all of the tables during the Thanksgiving dinner at La Puente. Jim and his wife Coni were some of the many volunteers who made the event a success.


As part of Thanksgiving Day at La Puente, Director Lance Cheslock provides entertainment.

Layton in the turkey cap

Layton, right, decked in his turkey cap, was one of La Puente’s key organizers of its annual Thanksgiving Day dinner on Thursday in Alamosa. Behind him guests visit and enjoy their turkey dinners.