JOHNSON CITY, NY – First responders descended upon the Walmart in Vestal this morning to come to the aid of a turkey drive that’s only halfway to its goal.
First, police and paid fire agencies from across our area started their day at Wegmans in Johnson City to pick up nearly 300 turkeys to donate to the Catholic Charities Thanks4Giving turkey drive.
The officers worked closely with Wegmans to ensure that they would be able to purchase a large number of birds.
“It’s been difficult, challenging for most retailers to get in a good supply of turkeys. We were fortunate that we had a good amount coming to us so that when Josh, patrolman from Johnson City, came in and asked for help we were certainly able to help him out,” says Orlovsky.
As in previous years, the police and fire agencies made a splashy arrival to the Vestal Walmart, with lights and sirens blaring.
The annual tradition began 5 years ago when the union representing Johnson City Police raised 500 dollars to support the cause and then challenged other agencies to do the same.
These days, they all work collaboratively and raised over 41 hundred dollars for the turkeys as well as side dishes and gift cards.
President of the J-C Police Union Josh Bilek says the effort builds camaraderie.
“This is such a fun event for all of us. We always look forward to it. The lights and sirens just adds to it. It’s answering another call for service and that’s what we all signed up to do,” says Bilek.
Even with the significant donation, Catholic Charities says it is in serious danger of missing its goal of 3,000 turkeys.
It reported being only half way there this afternoon with only one day left to go.
You can make your donation tomorrow between 8 A-M and 7 P-M outside of the Vestal Walmart.