For the past six years, Debbie Marticio, owner of at 139 Maple St. in Danvers has been celebrating Thanksgiving by giving. She and her husband, Mike, have been offering free holiday meals to homeless families, housebound residents, young people struggling with substance abuse at a Danvers treatment center and those living at the Inn Transition transitional housing in Peabody.
Marticio has been making those free meals available as part of a coordinated effort among various agencies and restaurants to feed the needy during the holidays. According to Marticio, it costs between $10,000 and $11,000 to serve the free Thanksgiving meal at Ma Duke’s, and much of that comes from donations.
But this year the open-hearted offering becomes more complicated than usual. This year, because business has been difficult for the eatery, Ma Duke's has racked up a substantial electric bill whose payment has fallen in arrears and has resulted in Danvers Electric shutting down the service. (According to the latest news from Marticio, the bill has been paid and the electricity to Ma Duke's has been restored and the eatery has reopened).
But despite the obstacles, Debbie Marticio is still committed to preparing 1,000 plates for Thanksgiving. Doing so is her passion and her mission.
To help, All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore (formerly Calvary Episcopal Church Danvers and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Peabody), at 46 Cherry St. will step forward to offer a North Shore spaghetti supper to raise funds to help ensure that Ma Duke's and Debbie Marticio accomplish the goal of feeding 1,000 less fortunate people on Thanksgiving Day.
On Thursday, Nov. 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., All Saints parishioners -- several of whom have already donated dollars in the amounts of $50 and $100 -- will join together to provide a delicious, home-cooked Italian feast of pasta, breads and salad in O'Neill Hall at the church at 46 Cherry St.
Admission will be $10 per person and additional donations will be gratefully accepted. All proceeds will go to the Ma Duke's Thanksgiving Meals for the Less Fortunate initiative.
Those unable to attend the event are invited to send a $10 donation (or more), made out to Ma Duke's, with the note section of the check indicating "donation for Ma Duke’s Free Thanksgiving dinners."
For more information please call All Saints at 978-774-1150.