Troy Rotary Makes Thanksgiving Special for Many

IN FRONT OF KROGER at South Blvd and Crooks, it was 8 a.m. and there were Rotarians and turkey dinners everywhere. Rotarian Tom Gueth gets a hand loading up from Blythe Spitsbergen, the executive director of CARE House of Oakland County. Sixty-five families who received turkey dinners were clients of CARE House.


There was quite a crowd in front of the Kroger store at South Blvd and Crooks on Thanksgiving morning. They weren’t there to get last-minute supplies for dinner. Rather they were on hand to make sure that local residents enjoyed a delicious meal, regardless of their means.

Hundreds of Oakland County residents in need enjoyed a home-delivered, cooked turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, thanks to Troy Rotarians and friends, explained René Pothetes, president-elect of Troy Rotary.

“Team Turkey” is an annual event for Troy Rotary, one of the area’s most active service clubs.

The event grew from 30 deliveries in 2016 to 135 deliveries this year. The call went out to family and friends to bring their SUVs to Kroger to help deliver the dinners, and they all showed up.

Over 70 volunteers from Troy Rotary, Birmingham Rotary and the Troy Police Department, met up at 8 AM Thanksgiving morning to load up their vehicles and begin deliveries.

The club received generous donations from individual Troy Rotarians, the Troy Rotary Foundation, the Price Foundation and a GoFundMe page.

“Kroger has been our biggest advocate and without them we couldn’t have made this happen,” said Pothetes. Kroger employees put together the complete holiday dinners including rolls and pumpkin pie.

Special thanks this year goes to Troy Rotarians Mark Bucchi and Tom Gueth for coordinating logistics with referring organizations, communicating with drivers and promoting the event.

“Our club learns a lot from these types of events,” said Scott Hurrell, president of Troy Rotary. “One thing about Rotarians—when we make up our mind to do something, we get it done.”

Troy Rotary is one of 35,000 clubs that belong to Rotary International. The service organization is 1.2 million members strong. Rotary is perhaps best known for its work in the eradication of polio, a goal they hope to realize in the next year or two.

Meanwhile, Troy Rotary has already begun planning next year’s “Team Turkey” event.

“We’re going to scale this event next year by involving more clubs and referring agencies,” said Pothetes.

For more information on Troy Rotary, visit The club meets Wednesdays for lunch at the Bank of American HQ, 2600 W Big Beaver Rd, Troy.