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NewsChannel 3 honors Gloucester County woman who opens home to soldiers for Thanksgiving

Posted at 7:58 PM, Nov 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-25 20:28:51-05

"I make the good stuff!"

You'll agree when you hear what Cheryl Slavnik  has planned.
NewsChannel 3 went along as she was shopping for the big meal at a local Food Lion store.

The Gloucester County woman has quite a menu lined up for the two soldiers she and her family have invited for Thanksgiving.

"Oh boy we're gonna have turkey with stuffing, we're gonna have mashed potatoes, gravy.

We're gonna have sweet potato soufflé, pineapple cheese soufflé, corn, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lima beans, brown serve rolls, of course cranberry sauce, black olives, pumpkin pie chocolate pie. I think that's about it."

Cheryl's honored to prepare this meal for her military visitors.

"Well for one thing I grew up as an Army brat." That upbringing has taught her the importance of honoring our military.

The idea to take action really took off in part due to NewsChannel 3's recent coverage of homecomings.

"Watching things like that on your channel of different things with the military, people coming home and all this and I thought you know, I've got the room at my house, why not invite someone in to eat with us? So I contacted Patrick Rockey, 'cause I talk to him on Facebook, you know and I said, 'Hey I know your channel does a lot for the military, help me. What can I do? How do I go about finding somebody to come and invite into our home to eat?' And the next thing I know, you call me!"

Cheryl stresses she doesn't want any recognition, she just has one hope for the two soldiers who will be visiting her home.

"That it was a family atmosphere, that they got to feel like they were somewhat at home enjoying Thanksgiving. That's what I want."

We headed to the checkout line and Cheryl's grand total was $138.79.

Before she could pull out any money, we told her NewsChannel 3 was picking up the tab for the whole amount. She was very thankful but that wasn't the only surprise. The manager of the Gloucester County Food Lion on Hargett Blvd. had something as well. She gave her a $200 gift card!

The two surprises brought Cheryl to tears. "Oh ya'll don't have to do this. All I'm trying to do is make these guys have a home for Thanksgiving as opposed to sitting at the base, that's it."

Because of what Cheryl is doing, opening up her home to our military, we wanted to recognize her with a NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action Award and present her with a $100 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank. Cheryl was so thankful, but we know our troops and our community are thankful for her.

Cheryl is participating in the USO's Adopt-A-Serviceperson program. If you would like more info on it you can contact:
Danis Lensch
Family Outreach
They have enough families for Thanksgiving this year, but will be taking names for a waiting list.