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Butterball donates 1,000 birds to Fort Bragg troops, civilians

Butterball Vice President of Human Resources Ron Tomaszewski spent the better part of a rainy Wednesday handing out turkeys to the Fort Bragg family November 14, 2018. (Brenda Gutierrez/Department of Defense)

The weeks before Thanksgiving are among the busiest of the year for Butterball, a North Carolina-based poultry giant.

But Ron Tomaszewski said there was no other place officials with the company would have rather been than in the heart of Fort Bragg amid a constant drizzle and a chilling wind.

“This means a lot to us,” said Tomaszewski, the vice president of human resources for Butterball. “Frankly, it’s the least we can do.”

Officials handed out 1,000 turkeys — totaling somewhere between 16,000 and 18,000 pounds — to Fort Bragg soldiers and civilian employees on Wednesday.

The 3rd Special Forces Group and Womack Army Medical Center were the beneficiaries of the donations, with lines of troops and civilians forming outside Hedrick Stadium to take possession of the birds.

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Christa Leupen, a spokeswoman for Butterball, said the company has distributed turkeys on Fort Bragg for the past six years. It also makes a similar donation each year at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

On Wednesday, volunteers began handing out turkeys at 9 a.m. Tomaszewski and others then helped serve a Thanksgiving feast at Womack Army Medical Center’s dining facility before returning to dole out more birds until just before 2 p.m., when the stock ran dry.

Tomaszewski said there are few holidays more American than Thanksgiving. So, it was only fitting to help the nation’s troops celebrate.

“We’re proud to do this,” he said.

In addition to the Fort Bragg turkeys, the company also planned to send 200 birds to Lumberton on Wednesday. There, the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee was set to distribute the turkeys to families affected by Hurricane Florence.

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© 2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

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