Community comes together at Carson City Nugget

Sisters Natalie, 7, Emma Marie, 6, and LuLu Cervantes, 9, enjoy their Thanksgiving meal at the Nugget on Thursday.

Sisters Natalie, 7, Emma Marie, 6, and LuLu Cervantes, 9, enjoy their Thanksgiving meal at the Nugget on Thursday.

Destiny is turkey on Thanksgiving and a doll house for next month’s festive holiday.

Serenity may be getting both. Both Destiny and Serenity may just do that. They’re already halfway there.

Destiny and Serenity Rodriguez, 7 and 6 years of age, met their destiny with turkey and the trimmings Thursday at the Carson Nugget. Hundreds of people young and old joined them.

The two young girls, along with their mother, were there for a free Thanksgiving meal at mid-day. Also on hand to serve were luminaries from the local political and government ranks, but the meal was about people like Veronica, Destiny and Serenity Rodriguez.

Veronica said she works at Nature’s Bakery, 5150 Convair St., a Carson City snack food maker, and her children attend Mark Twain Elementary School. The youngsters, asked what they want for Christmas, said a doll house.

Not far away, Lori Bagwell from the city’s political, business and volunteer ranks, was helping as a roaming server and couldn’t stop crowing about the day.

“This is the most fun part of the whole year,” said the chairman of the board at the FISH charitable organization, also a city supervisor-elect and a Carson Mall food outlet owner.

FISH (Friends In Service Helping) supplied 100 turkeys for the day in cooperating to help put on the event with the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation and Carson Nugget casino.

“Having a roomful of our people here — it’s perfect,” said Bagwell. The second-floor banquet hall meal was free and open to everyone in the area, among them some who often eat at the FISH dining room.

A table or two away from the winsome Rodriguez crew sat John Armenta of Carson City, a 30-year resident originally from Colorado. Over the years, he has worked at various area casinos. He had a plateful of the day’s fare and said he was enjoying himself immensely. He said the 60-year tradition of a turkey dinner at the Nugget on Thanksgiving day has become his own adopted tradition.

“I was here last year,” said Armento, smiling and chatting as he ate.

What he ate was served up by the likes of Mayor Robert Crowell and his wife, Susan, as well as Adele’s chef Charlie and Supervisor Karen Abowd, the local restaurant partners. It also was served by Sheriff Ken Furlong and Fire Chief Stacey Giomi, who regaled the crowd passing by, as well as fellow servers, with Thanksgiving day antics.

The sheriff provided folks with dinner rolls while the fire chief put dollops of whipped cream on pumpkin pie slices. Both were mistakenly accused of being sugar pushers.

“I’m the sugar pusher,” said Giomi. Moments later, he couldn’t resist taking a verbal shot at his partner in non-crime. “Kenny’s got some nice buns, doesn’t he?” he remarked to a nearby female server.

Circulating through the crowd refilling beverage glasses, along with Bagwell, were other officials, among them Supervisors Jim Shirk and John McKenna. Also on hand for that duty were City Manager Nick Marano, his wife, Tami, and their son from southern California, also named Nick. Marano said his whole family was in Carson City for the holiday, including daughter Kristie.

Young Marano is in his final year at the University of Southern California and his sister attends the University of Mississippi.

The city manager’s son, as active as anyone at serving members of the crowd, said before he began the task he’s studying economics and intends to move to Northern Nevada when he completes his work at USC.


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