ST. MARYS — A pair of business co-owners in St. Marys are continuing the tradition of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need, expanding their efforts a little farther in Elk County this year.
Zak Breniman and Janice Constable of St. Marys opened “Dream Catch” on South St. Marys Street in August of last year, right next to their flotation therapy business “Dream Float.”
Dream Catch gave out more than 350 free dinners on Thanksgiving day in 2018, Constable said. This year, they are doing some things differently. For example, they found a lot of people didn’t have transportation to the facility last year, so volunteers will be delivering meals.
The couple is hoping to have enough food to supply individuals and families in Ridgway and Johnsonburg as well, Constable said, since they have been receiving phone calls from these areas.
Breniman and Constable and her children volunteer their time for this, she said, but the support they’ve received from the community is overwhelming. Local businesses like Tablespoons Cafe and Deli, The Pour House Bar and Grill, Domtar Johnsonburg Mill and Vrobel, Vrobel and Grove law firm have each donated funds or gift cards.
With tears in her eyes, Constable added an anonymous St. Marys company has offered to pay for whatever food donations are needed after the collection.
Dream Catch started the day donating one container per person last year, the couple said. This year, each family will receive family-sized portions in aluminum tins, and go home with enough for leftovers.
Volunteers also found many senior citizens were in need of a Thanksgiving meal last year, Constable added.
Constable said she enjoys seeing her children participate in this effort. Elk County Christian students will be helping deliver this year as well.
“Younger kids who helped last year wanted to do it again this year,” she said. “It’s a good experience for them to give back to people who are less fortunate.”
Part of being business owners in the community is giving back, the couple says. Many customers who support Dream Catch and Dream Float say they do so because they see how much the couple supports area fundraisers.
Items needed include instant mashed potatoes and stuffing mix, cans or jars of gravy, canned corn and green beans and pumpkin pies.
“So many of us have been in similar situations ourselves,” Constable said. “We really just want to make sure people aren’t afraid to ask for help.”
If the community knows of any individual or family in need of a meal, they are encouraged to call Dream Catch at 814-834-3974 or message the Facebook page ahead of time. Deliveries, which will be done from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving day, stay anonymous.