JONESVILLE — Only those who love their own company need be alone on Thanksgiving Day in the Yadkin Valley thanks to Theo’s in Jonesville.
Located at 233 Winston Road, Theo’s Italian and Family Restaurant will be serving Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in memory of Keith Combs.
Combs and Theofanis Kakouras opened Theo’s in 1996 beginning the Yadkin Valley tradition 21 years ago.
“We became friends and we wanted to do something to give back to the community,” said Kakouras, who learned about Thanksgiving after he came to the United States from Greece when he was 14.
“Keith has since passed away, but Theo has continued to do this free annual event in the memory of his friend,” said Robert Lewis, who has been employed with Kakouras for 14 years. “This event shows the side of Theo that I get to see every day.
“I have found him to be one of the most honest, caring and generous people I have ever met,” said Lewis. “He is always helping his employees to better themselves, and he is their biggest ally if they are honored enough to work for him.”
This may be why so many people are eager to volunteer to assist with the meal even though they have no food service experience.
“They are doctors and lawyers and other professions,” said Lewis. “Theo takes this bunch of untrained willing workers and he makes this event happen every year.
“You will see Theo’s own daughters working with sweat on their brows because it is Theo’s tradition to help people,” said Lewis, “and he has passed this way of life to his daughters as well.”
“We get a lot of community help,” said Kakouras. Theo’s also gets contributions from such companies as Pepsi, US Foods, IFH, Graphics Printing and Swift Realtors.
“People helping people is the theme for the day,” said Lewis as he anticipated helping with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner which has already started cooking.
“We hope to see you,” welcomed Kakouras during a quick break while preparing 48 turkeys and all the sides which include green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing as well as sweet potatoes.
The homemade meal will be finished with pumpkin pie, bringing the turkey dinner to an ideal close.
Although there is no charge, donations would be appreciated.
“On Thanksgiving Day, the doors to Theo’s Italian and Family Restaurant are open to anyone, rich or poor, families of any size, or elderly people who have lost a loved one and simply do not want to eat alone,” said Lewis.
In an effort to alleviate the loneliness that can come with eating alone in a restaurant, some citizens involved in suicide awareness events in Elkin will be gathering to eat at Theo’s.
“That would be wonderful,” said Kakouras upon hearing that between one to two individuals will be able to find companionship during their meal with those patrons wearing teal You Can’t Be Replaced bracelets.
“We have been blessed with so much,” said Lewis. “This is Theo’s and the volunteers’ way of giving back and supporting the community which we love.”
For more information about volunteering, call 336-526-5888. Theo’s is located in Starmount Crossing Shopping Center in Jonesville.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.