Cold turkeys

Brian P. Stack Civic Association holds annual Thanksgiving fundraiser gala

Cold turkeys
Union City's turkey task force will be in full swing throughout the month.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack hosted this year’s annual Brian P. Stack Civic Association Gala, where funds are raised for the association’s annual Thanksgiving turkey drive. The gala was held at a Moonachie venue called Graycliff.

Union City’s widely-acclaimed Thanksgiving rite, which was started by Stack, is the mass distribution of thousands of frozen turkeys to anyone who wants one in Union City, delivered in bulk by crews of workers in the few days prior to the holiday.

In past years, Stack’s turkey task force has funded the giveaway of roughly 30,000 or even 40,000 turkeys. Hundreds of volunteers work assembly-line style in an undertaking that’s prefaced with a year of fundraising.

Judging by the size of the Nov. 1 gala, observers said that the effort is shaping up to support what might be the biggest freightage of frozen fowl that the city has ever seen.

Stack introduced the annual citywide tradition more than 30 years ago, when he was 14 years old. The routine has kept up annually since then.

Scores of public employees, elected officials, and residents from Hudson County and beyond turned out to the event. Stack’s turkey turnout machine strained the capacity of the banquet hall.

At the event, Gov. Phil Murphy commended Stack for his ability to mobilize the community, in terms of politics and in nonpolitical community events.

Judging by Union City officials’ reception of Murphy during his appearances in Hudson County, it seems clear that the mutually supportive relationship between Murphy and Union City officiials will surpass the Nov. 5 re-election efforts of LD33 Assemblypersons Raj Mukherji and Annette Chaparro.

“In a room full of extraordinary individuals, a cavalcade of elected officials and VIPs, I’m here for one guy and one guy only,” Murphy said at the event. “That is Mayor Brian Stack. You’re an extraordinary mayor, and extraordinary legislator in the rockin’ 33rd [Legislative District] with Raj and Annette, but you’re also an extraordinary community leader, and you do it like nobody else. We hold you up as a role model. This is one of my favorite events to come to every year, and I’m always honored to be with you all.”

Rep. Albio Sires, who was also at the fundraiser, said that the Brian P. Stack Civic Association is the “finest organization that you’ll come across in the state of New Jersey.”

A few days before Thanksgiving, a foot patrol of officials and volunteers led by Stack will drop by homes across the city in order to handle the delivery logistics. The Brian P. Stack Civic Association also plans to host Thanksgiving dinners at several locations throughout the city, free of charge.

Information on requesting a turkey, volunteering in the upcoming efforts, and more will soon be made available at or by calling city hall at 201-348-5700.

For updates on this and more stories check or follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mike Montemarano can be reached at 

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