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Editorial: Thankful for a great Thanksgiving tradition

  • JCST file photo For the fourth consecutive year, former University of South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore, right, and his family will visit Ridgeland to help those in need on Thanksgiving. Lattimore is pictured with his stepfather Vernon Smith.

We are thankful for the continuation of a burgeoning Thanksgiving tradition.

Marcus Lattimore said he always intended to give back to the those in need during his favorite holiday and for the past three years Jasper County has benefited from his family and his foundation’s goodwill.

Since 2014 the former University of South Carolina football star has made the Bar-B-Q-Grill in Ridgeland his home away from home each Thanksgiving, helping to feed hundreds of people.

First it was 400. Then it was 700. Last year more than 900 people were fed Thanksgiving meals.

This year the goal is 1,000. No matter the number fed, we are thrilled Lattimore and his family are returning.

The holiday is a special day to be with family and friends and we are heartened that the Lattimores are again spending the day at the Bar-B-Q-Grill and making plates of free food.

The county’s senior citizens on the Meals on Wheels route will also be beneficiaries of the meals, which will include turkey, macaroni and cheese, gravy, sweet potatoes, potato salad and coleslaw. Banana pudding for dessert completes a delicious meal.

Not only does Lattimore’s foundation and Randy Horton’s restaurant provide food for locals, but we’ve heard many stories of travelers on Interstate 95 grateful to find a place open on the holiday.

When we first met Lattimore on the day before Thanksgiving in 2014, he spoke of his love for the holiday. He enjoys all aspects: food, friends, and being with family.

To make his Thanksgiving complete, he wanted to give to those who wouldn’t normally be able to enjoy the day.

“Being able to give them a couple of meals, that really touches my soul,” Lattimore said.

Lattimore promised to continue to support the county on Thanksgiving and he’s returned each year. He’ll be back this Thursday.

We are grateful.

Horton, whose restaurant will host the day of giving from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., said he’s impressed at how much the initiative has grown.

“Every year we get better at it,” he said.

Fantastic.

We’re pleased with the success and thank Lattimore for continuing to spend the holiday in Jasper County.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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