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281 Free Thanksgiving Meals Served at When Pigs Fly!

For a third year in a row, When Pigs Fly BBQ in Fairlea, West Virginia rounded up all the necessary ingredients to serve free Thanksgiving meals to the community. The ingredients included donations, volunteers, food, and a whole lot of love in their hearts. Owners Mike Sheridan and Kellen Leef call Thanksgiving their, “Giving Back Day.” And giving back they did!
Pictured above to the left: Volunteers, Brooklyn and Addison. To the right, Loretta Hefner is serving pumpkin pie.

From 12pm-6pm on Thursday, November 24th, 2016, they served 281 free Thanksgiving meals that included all the traditional fixins: roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh local greens, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie, and all the rest of the trimmings free to anyone who showed up.

We asked Mike and Kellen what inspired them to do “Giving Back Day” and Kellen says she is following her religious faith, and honoring her father. “Basically, we just like to feed people, and this feels right,” – Kellen Leef.


This year they saw an almost 50% increase in meals provided. 200 meals were served 2015 and 196 meals were served in 2014. Mike and Kellen were prepared for the increase and made the following:

  • 22 turkeys (in 2015, they prepared 12)
  • 175 pounds of potatoes
  • 100 pounds of sweet potatoes
  • 62 pounds of fresh, local mustard greens
  • 20 pounds of cranberries
  • 10 pans of stuffing
  • 35 pies plus some other assorted desserts.
  • 4 big pans of salad.

(not everything is listed)

In the above video, we interviewed Linda Wheeler, a volunteer during “Giving Back Day.” Volunteers helped prep, cook, serve meals, and clean up.

To pay for the meals, donations came in from both individuals and other local restaurants. Mike and Kellen say they received donations of both food and cash from a number of individuals and organizations in the community.

The following organizations provided food:

  • Rudy’s Corner Grill
  • The Bakery on Court Street
  • B Sweet Confectionary
  • Sunset Berry Farms
  • Spare Time Sports Bar and Grill
  • Stuart’s Hot Dogs
  • The Dutch Haus
  • Renick Community Center
  • Greenbrier River Rollers Roller Derby Team.

They also received contributions from: Cheryl Cooper in memory of Barbara May, Katie Erskine, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Lewis, Stacy and Donny Farrar, June Burns, Neal and Marsha Roth, Kim and Isaac Post, Vic and Martha Morgan, Joe and Connie Jackson, Rosemary Rinde, Bryan and Lisa Seldomridge, Lynn MacCorkle, Mary Beth Tucker, Tim, Amy and Dalton Knapp, Eric and Trisha Cooke, Tom Cross, Mary Ann Shires, Joan Browning, Sabrina Dowdy, Bonita Sinkiewitz, Adam McCallister, Emily Yates, Peyton Smith, Theresa Filzen, Susie Slade, John Norman, Judy Bostic, Katherine Tuckwiller, Alan and Diana Godbey, Debbie Hendrick, Darla Miller and Tonia Fullen.

In the above video, we interviewed Richard Hefner, who is a third year volunteer.

when-pigs-fly-thanksgiving-12Pictured above to the left: Kellen and Mike heading back to the kitchen after serving meals. Pictured to right: Richard Hefner delivering meals to other volunteers who serve dinner to guests at their tables.

At the end of the day, 1 1/2 turkeys were left over. Mike and Kellen closed up shop and enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal with a few family and friends in the restaurant.

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When Pigs Fly Barbeque recently celebrated 4 years. They are located on RT 219 in Fairlea, West Virginia, just north of the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. Learn more at or call (304) 645-4227.

– HashtagWV, November 25, 2016.

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.