Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens, left, and newly elected Councilwoman Sylvia Moore present a turkey to Eastpointe resident Ronald Przytulski just in time for Thanksgiving.

Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens, left, and newly elected Councilwoman Sylvia Moore present a turkey to Eastpointe resident Ronald Przytulski just in time for Thanksgiving.

Photos by Brendan Losinski


Eastpointe officials deliver Thanksgiving turkeys to residents

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 24, 2020

 Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens and Ethics Committee member Michael Jones present more than 50 turkeys donated by the city’s own Fresh Choice Market Place to local residents Nov. 20.

Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens and Ethics Committee member Michael Jones present more than 50 turkeys donated by the city’s own Fresh Choice Market Place to local residents Nov. 20.

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EASTPOINTE — Several Eastpointe officials decided to surprise residents of their community with some turkeys just in time for Thanksgiving.

They went door to door at the Grafton Townhomes, near Nine Mile Road and Hayes Avenue, and gave out more than 50 turkeys donated by Eastpointe’s Fresh Choice Market Place.

“I just wanted to give back,” said Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens, who headed up the endeavor. “I’ve always tried to give back even before I was a mayor or councilwoman. It’s who I am and it’s not something new or something I’m doing because I want publicity.”

With troubles such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic weighing on the general public, Owens hoped the donations would help.

“During coronavirus and with so much else going on, I know people lack things anyway, so hopefully this will put some hope back into the community,” she said. “The community is behind me. I have Michael Jones from the Ethics Committee here with me today. Councilwoman Sylvia Moore is here too. Fresh Choice (Market Place) donated the turkeys, so we have local businesses chipping in too.”

Moore said the giveaway was a good way to start off her tenure as a member of the City Council and an effective way to introduce herself to many of her constituents.

“This is my second week as a councilwoman,” she remarked. “I think giving away some birds is a good way to get off to a flying start.”

Moore went on to say that going the extra mile to aid others is of particular importance in 2020.

“The idea of giving back to the community and doing our part to make sure no one is left out really struck me,” she said. “We know that the pandemic is out here and many people have lost their jobs and that they need food, they need rent, they need all types of things. This little giveback is a small thing, but it can be a mighty thing for what it means to people.”

Owens said she chose the Grafton Townhomes for the giveaway because it is low-income housing and she knew from her own experiences how much a gesture like a turkey could mean to people.

“I gave to the Grafton Homes because I grew up in a low-income community and I am familiar with the challenges that they face, and those challenges made me the woman I am today,” she explained. “I wanted them to know that, no matter what, I remember them.”

Several of the recipients of the giveaway voiced their appreciation.

“This feels great. It’s a blessing,” said Grafton Townhomes resident Ronald Przytulski. “My family’s been doing well through COVID so far. We’re taking it day by day. It’s good to meet new people and good to meet your mayor.” 

“I appreciate it,” added fellow resident Justin Ingram. “We could use a free turkey — everyone could probably use a free turkey. We have a couple family members here even though things are harder this year.”

Resident Carolyn Turner said that she will likely be sharing hers with other neighbors since the pandemic is preventing her from sharing the holiday with family as she usually does.

“I feel very blessed,” she said. “I have to have dinner all by myself this Thanksgiving. My family is very small and we won’t be able to get together because we don’t live together, so to have someone reach out like this is a blessing.”

Owens and the other officials said they hope this spreads some holiday cheer and reminds people that they are not alone during a time when it is easy to feel that way.

“We always say that this is a family town, so we want to give back to some of the families that live here,” said Owens. “I want people to see that there are people in this community who care about them and don’t have an agenda. We want everyone to have a good Thanksgiving.”

“I believe that people need to have a giving heart,” said Moore. “I know that a lot of people give during the holiday season or they volunteer around Christmas or Thanksgiving. I know that, because people are still giving this year even though it is more difficult than usual.”

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