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Friends Of 'Daddy Bruce' Keep Thanksgiving Traditional Alive

(CBS4) -- For the first time since 1994, churches and local organizations came together to provide a hot thanksgiving meal on Bruce Randolph Avenue for anyone who needs it -- all in the name of "Daddy Bruce."

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In 1963, Denver philanthropist "Daddy" Bruce Randolph began cooking Thanksgiving meals for the community.

After his death, the hot meals stopped. Instead, churches and community groups stepped up to provide food baskets to families to continue his mission over the years.

Because of supply chain issues, this year, organizers were not able to put together food baskets.

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Instead, they gave out dozens of give cards to families in need.

Organizers also knew they wanted to bring back the tradition of getting together in person for the community.

"That's what we wanted to bring back, is to having this festive occasion, just like we have people sitting around the table, we haven't seen each other since last year," said Rev. Ronald Wooding with the Epworth Foundation.

One of the people who attended the event to get a hot meal on Thanksgiving was Geraldine Brown.

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"I think it's a gift from God, because you know there's a lot homeless people out here, that can't afford no food," Brown said.

For those who remember Daddy Bruce, it was about serving members of the community who often gets overlooked.

"And one important thing we're missing is the Black history that Daddy Bruce provided here, not only the Black history, but for everyone he fed, it was non-stop, all the time he was alive, anyone could come rich or poor," said Mark Pride, who also stopped by for a meal.

For the organizers who continue Bruce's legacy, it means coming back to the roots of the cause.

"He had this saying, 'nothing beats love,'" Wooding said. Because when a meal is made of love, "it's an inner feeling you have in your heart," Wooding said.

And for Brown, it's that love she's feeling tonight.

"I would tell him, 'thank him and I would give him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek,'" Brown said.

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