Helpings of gratitude served in Central Point
For diners and servers alike, a Central Point restaurant brimmed with the spirit of gratitude.
The Point’s fourth annual community Thanksgiving meal was a chance for a family to give back and dozens of people to gather and enjoy the comforts of the restaurant.
With a turkey plate in front of her, Dawn Richardson soaked in the flat-screen TVs showing “both football games” and the historic ambiance at the restaurant at 311 E. Pine St.; still, what mattered most to Richardson was that she could enjoy a “fabulous” meal with more than half a dozen members of her homeless camp.
“It’s really nice to be together,” Richardson said, seated at one table of six with more from her camp behind her. “We’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year.”
“Good people and good food,” Matthew Chase said.
About 20 people volunteered to serve people at Thursday’s free community meal, according to The Point co-owner Tyler Hoevet, and just past the midway point of the meal Hoevet had counted 63 meals served.
Half of those who helped prepare and serve the meal of turkey, ham, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes and gravy were staff members who volunteered their time on their day off, while others were members of Hoevet’s own family — from his great-grandmother to Hovet’s 8-year-old daughter, Georgia.
“She’s on pie duty today,” Hoevet said of his youngster.
That volunteer count doesn’t include the efforts of other businesses and nonprofits that helped make the meal possible — such as Family Nurturing Center, who provided rides from Alba Park in Medford to the Central Point meal, along with pies from Shari’s Restaurant and ingredients from Food Service of America.
Hoevet said he’s always wanted to give back to the community, and now that he has a couple restaurants — one in Medford and another soon to open in Bend — he’s finally able to do just that.
Hoevet acknowledged one minor issue at the community meal, when an individual tried to order a beer at the restaurant.
Hoevet said the man told him, “I’m the customer.”
“We’re not selling anything today,” Hoevet recounted before the guy left in a huff.
Larry Weaver and Karen Greenwood, who are homeless, laughed off the story of the unruly man as they enjoyed their meal in The Point’s patio area with their black large breed dog, “Missy.”
“They do a good thing here,” Weaver said.
Greenwood said they’ve been coming to The Point’s meal for at least the past two years in part because they always help them find a way to eat with their dog, who’s been with them “24/7 for five years.” She remembers one time they even brought out a propane heater for them.
“We’re always out here — even in the rain,” Greenwood said before sharing some of her meal with the dog.
Sitting together inside, Larry Moscone and Jason Evans of Medford marveled at the quality of the meal and the hearty portions.
“Look how big the servings are,” Evans said. “They didn’t skimp on nothin’.”
“It’s like Dutch Bros.,” Moscone said. “It’s all good.”