DENVER (CBS4) – For 28 years, the Optimist Club of Monaco South has served Thanksgiving dinner at the Boys & Girls Club, a meal that for many has become a tradition.

“I’ve probably been coming to this dinner since I was six-years-old,” said Stephanie Vialpando, a mother of 3.

bgc thanksgiving 2 Boys & Girls Clubs Come Together For Thanksgiving Meal

(credit CBS)

Vialpando grew up at the Owens Boys & Girls Club, and now her children are following in her footsteps

“The same directors were here when I was young are here today, so not only did they coach me, they coached my kids,” Vialpando told CBS4. 

bgc thanksgiving 3 Boys & Girls Clubs Come Together For Thanksgiving Meal

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Anthony Lopez volunteers as a football coach at the club. He’s thankful for all the opportunities his children get there. 

“I’ve given a lot of time, as much as I could before to help out with the kids, because I come from the streets too. I know how it is to be out like that, so if I can give something back and give the kids a positive role model, so to speak, that makes me happy to do for them,” Lopez said. 

LINK: Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive

The Optimist Club puts on a full spread, complete with all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings.

bgc thanksgiving 1 Boys & Girls Clubs Come Together For Thanksgiving Meal

(credit CBS)

“She likes the mash potatoes,” Rosa Sanchez said of her 4-year-old daughter.

Sanchez’s daughter is too young to be a member, but the dinner has been a family tradition since she went to the club when she was a child.

“I have my nephews coming here too, so we all have our whole family coming here. We love it. We enjoy it,” Sanchez told CBS4.

bgc thanksgiving 4 Boys & Girls Clubs Come Together For Thanksgiving Meal

(credit CBS)

The entire club community is welcome at this meal. It’s a tradition that has survived the test of time.

The Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive seeks to provide a new toy for every member of the Boys & Girls Clubs. There are donation bins in participating King Soopers stores through December 24th.

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