Church, Cabot partner for Thanksgiving

BY STACI WILSON

Natural gas drilling is a 24/7 business – including Thanksgiving – taking workers away from their homes and families for the holiday.

For the past three years, Rick Craige has wanted to provide the holiday meal for county residents who were going to be alone or couldn’t afford to put on the meal.

This year, he brought the idea to the eight members of his Bridgewater Baptist Church Bible study group.

The two concepts gelled as one group member suggested they approached Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation to sponsor the Thanksgiving dinner.

Craige said he didn’t want to ask for the sponsorship unless the church group offered to supply meals to the Cabot employees who were working that day away from their homes and families.

Brittany Thomas, of Cabot, said, “We were interested in helping out families who aren’t able to get dinner for themselves.”

Cabot donated $700 – enough to cover the dinner cost for the rig hands and others.

“I don’t believe I know of another company who does this,” Thomas said.

She added, “We are at home having dinner, the least we could do was bring it to them since they weren’t able to go home and be with their families.”

Cabot drilling supervisor Jerry Digus coordinated the meal service with the crews.

“They all called me back to let me know they were appreciative,” Dugas said.

“Normally oil and gas operators don’t do this,” he said. “That’s what is so cold about this business – a holiday is just like a Monday.”

Dugas offered thanks on behalf of the holiday crew workers to Cabot and the church for putting out the Thanksgiving meal.

The first-year Thanksgiving dinner volunteers served up about 50 dinners at the church between11 a.m.-2 p.m.and provided about 175 gas workers at five different drilling sites with meals.

“To see all the volunteers here and giving up their Thanksgiving was really wonderful,” Craige said. About 50 people helped cook up and serve the 225 dinners.

One worker from each drill site came to the church to pick up the homemade dinner.

Craige said, “We wanted to do it right. Everything was made from scratch.”

Everything including the pies.

“We asked our church family for 30 pies and we got 50,” Craige said.

From the guys picking up the meals Craige said he heard the crew waiting for the food delivery was very appreciative.

“Bing away from home for the holiday – it made it a bit easier,” Craige said he was told by the men picking up the meals for the workers.

Thomas said, “It’s something you don’t think about. You see the rigs up in the community and know they are working 24/7 and that includes holidays. It’s nice to bring a little bit of home to them.”

He said he would also like to reach more people in the community.

During the course of planning the dinner, Craige said he also found out the Montrose United Methodist Church also hosts a Thanksgiving Day dinner and he hopes to join forces with the church next year.