By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Larry Gremo was part of a massive tailgating party Sunday that unfolded at Lincoln Financial Field before the Eagles defeated the Saints, 40-29.
“There are about 400 to 500 people here,” Gremo shouted over the phone so that he could be heard above the revelry.
Despite the party atmosphere, Gremo was also thinking about a quieter time, Thanksgiving dinner, and the realization that some people might not be able to afford or prepare a meal during the holiday.
Gremo, the head chef at the Commodore Club in Sea Isle City, is offering to make Thanksgiving a little bit brighter for someone in need by cooking them a holiday meal.
“To me, it’s not a big deal,” he said, insisting that it would be no trouble. “I’ll be cooking anyway for my family, so it’s not a big deal to make an extra meal and to deliver it to Sea Isle.”
A former Sea Isle resident, the 54-year-old Gremo now lives in Marmora. He has made a similar offer in the past to cook holiday meals for elderly people and others in need at Thanksgiving.
“I never advertised it. It was just word of mouth,” he said.
This year, his generosity has become more widely known because of dozens of complimentary comments circulating on the Sea Isle City Facebook forum SIC Chatter following a post he made offering to cook a holiday meal for “anyone in need!”
He is asking people to send him a personal message at (5) Larry Gremo | Facebook or through (4) SIC Chatter – Sea Isle City, NJ | Facebook if they want a meal. As of Sunday afternoon, no one had asked him yet.
He will be preparing meals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Commodore Club.
Gremo’s gesture alone has been greeted by 70 comments so far on SIC Chatter praising him for his kindness, generosity and spirituality.
“You’re one in a million, Larry. Hope I get to meet you sometime when I’m enjoying my home in SIC,” wrote one poster, DorisAnn McAlister Wachsmuth.
“You are truly an angel. Thank you for helping out,” Suzanne Cavalcante wrote.
Others said that Gremo’s offer reflected the real meaning of Thanksgiving – especially now, during the challenges of the pandemic.
“True spirit of Thanksgiving. What a wonderful offer in these difficult and sometimes lonely times. God bless you,” Pat Hansbury wrote.
Another poster, Ellen McLaughlin, asked Gremo if there was anything that he needed to make the meals.
Gremo politely responded, “No thank you. I’m good.”
During a phone interview Sunday while he was at the tailgating party before the Eagles game, Gremo paused for a moment and became emotional when he was asked why he offers to make Thanksgiving meals for people in need.
“Just family. Some people don’t see their family. Some don’t have a family,” he said of the importance of spending Thanksgiving with loved ones.
“Everybody should do something like this and help make the world a better place,” he added.