Hundreds of people turned out to the first annual Community Thanksgiving Bash on Tuesday inside the L.T. Miller Community Complex on Lamar Avenue.
The event featured a free Thanksgiving dinner, giveaways and door prizes, and free haircuts to those in need.
Jonathan Hooker and Macklyn Austin hosted the event with the help of countless volunteers, which made it a huge success.
"I think it went great," said Hooker. "They handed out over 1,000 tickets, so I think it turned out really well."
"It exceeded my expectations," said Austin. "I didn't think all those people were going to show up like that. It was eye-opening for the community to come out, for it to be so peaceful, and to see smiles on everybody's faces. It was a good time and I loved it."
Around October, the two men started thinking about a way they could give back to the community. Some of their inspiration was drawn from other events that had been held in the past by celebrities who were giving away turkeys.
Austin and Hooker started brainstorming, and ideas began popping up left and right.
"We had first decided to just give away turkeys," said Austin, "Then we added in the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Community Center. To draw more people in we decided to give away TVs, deep-fryers and other things."
The men also made sure to remember local children in the event, and added other prizes just for kids, such as bicycles and a game system. The also invited local barbers to come and give free haircuts to those in need.
Overall, 75 turkeys were given away, primarily to the elderly members of the community who were in the most need. Hundreds of Thanksgiving Dinner plates were prepared and given away as well.
Hooker and Austin funded the dinner and giveaways out of their own pockets, feeling that they needed to bless those in the community who were less fortunate during the Holiday Season.
"We didn't contact anybody for donations," said Hooker, "But the Yazoo City Housing Authority donated some $25 Walmart Gift cards as prizes."
Both men were extremely happy with the success of the event and said that next year's event will be bigger and better. They plan to do more charitable contributions over the next few months, including adopting needy families for Christmas, and sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship in May for one graduating senior from Yazoo City High School. They also mentioned that they welcome others to join them in their cause to make Yazoo City a better place.
"Giving back to the community helps build the community," said Hooker, "It helps out people in the community and shows people that they really care about them enough to give back."
"Just imagine that if all of us can get together and just see what we can come up with," said Austin, " We are willing to take any helping hand because the more people we get together the better things can be."