WINDSOR, ONT. -- The annual American Thanksgiving Turkey Supper at Cottam United Church continued this year, despite a closed border, COVID-19 and drive-thru only rules.

Church organizers say the event proceeded in an attempt to give Essex County residents some “normalcy and consistency” during the global pandemic.

“Even though we’re not dining in this year, we’re still serving just as many meals as we would have served last year,” says turkey committee chairperson Rick Mayea.

He says 1,007 pre-ordered turkey dinners were distributed Thursday.

“It goes back 75 years when we were just basically honouring our American cousins who had many cottages on Lake Erie on our side of the border, that were here at this time of year. They started putting a dinner together and obviously its grown since then.”

Organizers debated about whether or not to hold the event this year because of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, but decided to go ahead after working on the advice of the Windsor Essex County Health Unit to ensure all public health guidelines were followed. “We actually had nine members go through the food safety course, Canada Food Handler to make sure we’re staying current.”

There was no dining in. Meals, for the most part, were pre-ordered and paid for online, and were only available by take-out only.

Volunteer Fay Lawn tells CTV News she felt privileged and honoured to take part this year, “I think it’s fabulous! I think it’s wonderful that our community could rally together to still do something that has been in this community for decades.”