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Tally's Cafe celebrates 30 years of opening doors for free Thanksgiving dinner

Posted at 2:24 PM, Nov 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-24 17:02:05-05

TULSA, Okla. -- Tally Alame is from Lebanon originally, and said he never got to experience Thanksgiving until coming to the United States.

After successfully opening a restaurant in Tulsa, he wanted to thank customers by serving a meal for anyone who needs it.

"When I go outside they shake my hand. They thank me for providing a Thanksgiving meal because this year was tough, they lost their job, sometimes kids shake my hand saying thank you for having a meal because if it wasn't for you we would not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner," Alame said.

Others stopped by because they didn't want to cook, or had nowhere else to go.

"It is really comfortable inside here. The food is excellent, they treat you like family here. We don't have any family so this is where we come to," Ocelia Trejo said.

In the kitchen, Talley's prepared about 800 pounds of turkey, 60 pumpkin pies, and at least 15 trays for every side. Volunteers said the feeling of giving keeps them coming back year after year.

"Sitting and being thankful at the table is one thing with your own family. But it gives you a whole different kind of experience with other people that are enjoying a dinner that you're serving them and you don't know them," Melanie Culver said.

Alame said he also opens his doors to honor his own family, who always taught him to honor generosity.

"I lost my mom a month ago. She always told me to be giving to others and to people and this is pretty much for my mom too," Alame said.

In total the restaurant prepared to serve about 1200 people, and said the event is growing every year.

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