Turning Point celebrates 20 years with a taste of the towns

Sep 20, 2023

WAREHAM — Turning Point Day Resource Center celebrated 20 years of service with a “Taste of the Towns” on Monday, Sept. 18. 

Attendees got their favorite meals from South Coast restaurants, heard the musical stylings of Frank Noonan along with accompanying musicians and could enter a raffle to win prizes.  

The event was sponsored by the Wareham-New Bedford Elks Lodge #73.

Wareham Area Committee for the Homeless Chair Chuck McCullough said the event was the first of its kind for Turning Point and that the organization.

Turning Point aims to provide resources and support to families and individuals facing housing insecurity.

“A lot of people associate us with Wareham only when we're an organization that serves in Middleboro, Carver, Mattapoisett, Marion, Rochester and Buzzards Bay,” McCullough said. “So by hosting events such as this, we are able to educate folks.”

McCullough said he also wanted to highlight the local food service industry and celebrate all that these businesses do for the community and for the organization.

Jessi Merrick along with her husband, Matt, and two daughters, Kemper, 8, and Lincoln, 7, had an array of food at their table, but we're most excited for ice cream from Mattapoisett’s Oxford Creamery and cookies from Shipyard Galley. 

“It’s so good!” said Kemper.

For Jessi, the event was “excellent.”

“I'm glad that there's so many people turning out for it.” she said.

Hanh Nguyen, manager of Krua Thai, which has locations in Wareham and Buzzards Bay, and the owner Chankait Suksanit served Thai fried rice with eggs and mixed vegetables along with chicken satay.

Attendees Donna Sparrow and her uncle John Smolinsky enjoyed buffalo mac and cheese from The Gateway in Wareham along with clam chowder from Onset’s Quahog Republic. 

“It was wonderful,” Sparrow said of the event. Sparrow has worked with some Turning Point employees over the years in her role at a Community Health Center.

She added she would have loved to see even more restaurants participate.

Kim Genson, a bartender at the Elks Lodge lounge, said, “It's been incredible — great turnout, [the] food's amazing and it's been talked about all over town for quite a while, so I'm glad most of them showed up.”

Genson said she is a “big fan” of all the work Turning Point had done over the years. 

“Just seeing all the smiling and happy faces and all the families that have helped us throughout the years is incredible,” she added.

Garrett Douglas, a Turning Point board member, helped serve pasta Bolognese from Ella’s in Wareham.

Reflecting on the organization’s mission, Douglas said, “This problem is a problem that's been here longer than 20 years and it's going to be here longer than the next 20, but it's great that there are great people that are trying to do what they can to help.”