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Program has new name, same goal to feed community on holidays

It’s the same program, but with a new name yet to be determined. The “Up All Night” Thanksgiving dinner founder, Jake Sessions, is retiring from running the dinners due to health, but the community dinner will continue on under Jimmy Edwards.

“After 28 years, I retired because my health is failing, and I have congestive heart failure,” Sessions said. “I wish I could (continue), but I’m just going to walk away clean with it because I don’t know who’s going to take it over.”

Sessions said his favorite part of the dinners was delivering meals to people who could not leave their homes. Sessions said the dinner serves about 1,000 people every year.

Edwards said he hasn’t come up with a new name yet, but might call it “Community Dinner.”

“I have been under his wing for probably about 10 years, so I think it was decided that we wanted to keep this going,” Edwards said.

“I decided to step up after he stepped down. The only thing that’s going to change is going to be the name. We’re going to continue to have our same support. We’re going to continue to see the same [people] who we’ve been seeing when it was ‘Up All Night.’ We’re going to continue the same trend.”

The dinner will still be held at Cannon Street School.

Edwards said the dinner is important to continue since so many people look forward to it every year.

“I don’t want to disband this dinner all because an individual has stepped down,” Edwards said.

“There are people who are sick and homebound, and they look forward to this meal every year.”

Edwards said they still need volunteers for this year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

To volunteer or donate food, contact Edwards at (706) 443-8961.