PEI

Businessman giving away turkey dinners for an entire week

Businessman Warren Ellis is giving away free turkey dinners as a thank you for people supporting local

'it's been a very tough year for all Islanders'

Warren Ellis holds a bag filled with several turkey dinners. (Laura Meader/CBC)

A P.E.I. businessman is giving away roast turkey dinners with all the trimmings for an entire week as a thank you to his customers as well as a way to help residents get through these tough pandemic times. 

Warren Ellis owns the Frosty Treat and Summerside Chrysler Dodge, and is holding the turkey dinner giveaway from Dec. 14 to 20. 

"It's been a very tough year for all Islanders, and we wanted to in some way thank all the customers of Summerside Chrysler, the Frosty Treat and the general public at large" said Ellis.

"Anybody who's gone through this year, knows it's been a tough year."

The dinner includes all the trimmings as well as dessert of apple crisp. (Laura Meader/CBC)

He said the event is for everybody.

'We just keep cooking turkeys'

People have to call ahead to book a time to pick up their dinners at the Frosty Treat in Kensington, and must call again from the parking lot once they've arrived. 

Staff deliver the meals to the cars and ask that everyone wears a mask if they can. 

"There's as little interaction as possible," said Ellis.

Karen Skerry, a waitress at Frosty Treat, is preparing and delivering the dinners. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Ellis couldn't put a number on how many dinners he expected to give out but he said it's been busy and people have been grateful. 

"The phone keeps ringing and we just keep cooking turkeys." 

Buying local 'front and centre'

Ellis said COVID has raised awareness about the importance of buying local and he appreciates the customers who have supported him. 

He knows it been very tough for any tourism-related business, he said, but he thinks some other businesses have been doing well thanks to local support.

Lois Brown smiles as her turkey dinner is delivered to her car. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"A lot of businesses have been doing well with people shopping local," he said. 

"I think the buying local thing has been front and centre and thank God for it." 

'Real good idea'

People picking up dinners on Wednesday were full of smiles as their orders were brought out. 

Ron MacLeod said when he heard about the free dinners, he didn't quite believe it at first until he talked to his sister who had picked one up. He then called to order a dinner.

"It's a good idea, it's a real good idea," said MacLeod.  "It helps a lot of people" 

Warren Ellis stands in front of his restaurant in Kensington. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Lois Brown said the pandemic is a harder time for people with less travel, and fewer visits with family. 

She said Ellis was very generous. 

"I will enjoy it," she said. 

Ellis known for his generosity

Ellis is well known for his generosity. 

He created and funded the annual Grass Roots & Cowboy Boots fundraiser for the Prince County Hospital Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars.

A car waits at Frosty Treat for the dinners to be delivered. (Laura Meader/CBC)

He has also raised more than $500,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation and sponsors numerous local sports teams and charities. 

"I know what it's like in rough times and I grew up in rough times, and so if there's ever a chance to help in some way, I like to help," he said. 

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