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Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria serves up holiday dinner


Liz and Chet Antonsen have always wanted to plan and provide a holiday dinner for those less fortunate. When they bought Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria just over a year ago, it made this goal reachable. Last month they held their first dinner benefiting the client families of My Father's House in Gresham.
For several years now, it has been a goal of Chet and Liz Antonsen to provide a holiday dinner for families who might not otherwise get to enjoy one. A little over a year after acquiring the locally famous Harry's Fresh Deli & Pizzeria in Parkrose, they were able to reach that goal last month. With chef Melissa Isaac and General Manager Russell Owens in charge, the Antonsens found the perfect organization to offer the dinner to, My Father's House, a non-profit shelter ministry meeting the needs of homeless families in east Multnomah County since 2000.

Isaac contacted Cathe Wiese, My Father's House executive director, and they fit all the pieces together, except for one thing, a large enough space to pull off the fete given that My Father's House shelters more than 30 families at any one time.

Jodie Rossi, another key organizer of the dinner, contacted her son's school, Portland Christian Jr/Sr High School, and they generously agreed to help. On Dec. 12, they opened the school's cafeteria doors. More than 30 students, faculty and parents attended to help set-up and serve the holiday meal. Volunteer servers included international students from three different countries.

The Osgood family, one of many families at the dinner, had this to say about the efforts: “Our family would like to thank everybody for the wonderful dinner today. Everything was amazing. The kids who hosted the party were very polite as were the servers. Thank you for making our day so special.”

Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria Holiday Dinner donors:
Food Services of America
Roma Foods
Harry's Fresh Foods
Marsee Foods Inc.
Portland Roasting Coffee
Sysco Foods

The Nick Rossi family
The Walters family
The Misty Moore family
Not just any ordinary meal, the menu included over 90 pounds of turkey, 35 pounds of ham, 80 pounds of mashed potatoes, 48 pounds of stuffing, 12 quarts of gravy, 32 pounds of macaroni and cheese, wild rice, rolls, 24 pounds of chocolate pudding, coffee, pies, and desserts. Coloring books and crayons were on-hand for the children to enjoy some artistic time.

Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria Chef Melissa Isaacs said, “With out Jodie, Nick, and Chance (their son), this dinner could not have happened. Jodie was key to our success by bringing Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria and Portland Christian together and coordinating the youth volunteers on this wonderful event. Jodie Rossi has my undying gratitude and admiration.”

Donations for the dinner were plentiful (see sidebar), and My Father's House residents were able to take home great-tasting leftovers. Given the success of their dinner, the Antonsens believe that if every restaurant owner would follow suit, no family would go without a hot, delicious meal anytime during the holidays and beyond, and are already planning next year's event.

For information on how you can help meet the needs of My Father's House residents year round, call 503-492-3046 or visit their Web site at Donations can be dropped off at My Father's House, 5003 W. Powell Blvd. in Gresham.

Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria is located at 5530 N.E. 122nd Ave. Visit their Web site at
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