The Ocean Pines Yacht Club, over a five-hour period on Thanksgiving Day, sent 1,280 meals to local people through delivery and carryout.
That includes more than 1,500 pounds of turkey, 1,500 pounds of stuffing, 2,000 pounds of mashed potatoes and 50 gallons of gravy, according to Ralph DeAngelus, cofounder of the Matt Ortt Companies that manages the Yacht Club.
“It took two solid days of preparation and pre-cooking turkeys,” he said. “We made almost 1,300 salads – think about how many cucumbers it takes to make 1,300 salads!”
Reservations for the Thanksgiving meals were announced on Oct. 5 and sold out by Nov. 16. DeAngelus said the day easily set the record for to-go meals.
“We also actually beat last year, when we had indoor buffet dining. How about that?” he said. “We’ve had days in the summer when we did over 1,300 meals – but that’s over a 15-hour period. This was just five hours. We’ve never done that kind of volume in five hours – never.”
By the end of the day, DeAngelus said, the Ortt Companies staff was feeling exhausted, but also extremely proud of their effort.
“We were tired, but completely satisfied. The staff knew they had done something really good, and there was a massive amount of pride in the fact that they were able to get so many families together in their homes during this difficult time,” he said.
DeAngelus said the positive community response was immediate, from dozens of phone calls, to one local woman who came to the Yacht Club, with tears in her eyes, to thank the staff in person.
“We got a lot of phone calls from people who were super happy with what we did,” he said. “But when that one nice lady came here just to tell us how much she appreciated the meal that her family had together – that it was big, it was tasty, it was inexpensive and it was delivered right to her door – the second she got teary-eyed I thought, ‘OK, we really did do something good here.’”
Throughout the holiday weekend, community support for the Yacht Club continued to pour in over social media.
“It just solidified the pride we took in what we did – it confirmed it,” DeAngelus said.
Going forward, DeAngelus said the Yacht Club would expand the family meal offerings that started during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. An announcement, he said, would be made public shortly.
“All of this just confirms the fact that we need to start doing family meals sooner, rather than later,” he said. “We were doing them just on Sundays, but now I think we’re going to have to broaden the availability.”
The Ocean Pines Yacht Club is currently running under winter hours, open at 11 a.m. on Thursday through Sunday, with lunch and dinner options for dining and carryout.
For more information or to order online, visit www.opyachtclub.com.