Four Seasons Hotel serves annual feast for first responders

Staff and volunteers prepare 500 meals for first responders Thursday. Photo: Mike Conneen/WJLA

Not everyone has Thanksgiving Day off to spend with family and friends. For public servants like police officers and firefighters, there is always someone to protect.

In Georgetown, the Four Seasons hosted its 13th annual Pilgrim Feast for first responders on board a 21st century version of the Mayflower: a 53-foot trailer.

“It’s become a great tradition in Washington,” says Christian Clerc, general manager at the Four Seasons. “It’s our way of saying thank you to everyone who does such a great job all year.”

Washington’s finest enjoyed the full Four Seasons experience with fine linens, silver and china.

“This really makes me happy,” says Shannon Williams with the MPD. “It makes me want to give back.”

Inside the kitchen was buzzing with activity. Plates were loaded outside with turkey, potatoes, and of course plenty of pie.

“My pastry chef, he made pecan pie, apple pie, there’s pumpkin pie,” says Douglas Anderson. “The little pastry shop has been busy over the last three days.”

In all, nearly 500 meals were served for police, firefighters and other first responders. Emergency room staff from nearby hospitals were also invited.

“I was actually excited to work Thanksgiving,” says Weeda Zazay, an E.R. technician at GWU Hospital. “I asked to do I could come to this because I came to it last year and the year before so I chose to work Thanksgiving because of this.”

Hotel employees and their families volunteer each year to serve the meal.

“We have quite a few volunteers,” says Anderson. “Most of the staff out there today came in on their own holiday to help out.”

And for on-duty first responders unable to pull up a chair, meals were sent off in to-go bags to police and fire stations across the District.