Roger and Linda Collins

January 1, 2019

Roger and Linda Collins
Roger and Linda Collins
Immediately after the 9-11 attacks on our country, Roger Collins was inspired to do something good in this world.  He and his wife, Linda, came up with a plan to host a Thanksgiving dinner in Sebastopol and invite anyone who needed a meal, or company to enjoy it with.  What started out 18 years ago as a handful of people has now grown to more than 600 last Thanksgiving.
Roger and Linda Collins have been named “Locals Who Make a Difference” by the Sebastopol City Council. 
Over the years the couple has built up a solid team of volunteers and a donation fund for purchasing ingredients. They shop sales long before Thanksgiving and gather the supplies for a lavish holiday meal. This year, with the help of volunteers, Roger smoked 48 turkeys while Linda headed up the team to make all of the traditional sides and desserts.
Roger and Linda say the highlight for them is to see the repeat guests who come every year.  Some of their favorites include a couple who met at the dinner one year, got married, and now return annually to volunteer.  They also enjoy meeting new people who come from all over the Bay Area and some have even been in Sonoma County on vacation, heard about this delicious dinner, and came to partake.
When not preparing this generous Thanksgiving meal, Linda works full time as the Executive Director of the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.  Roger, who sadly passed away on January 10, 2019, was a retired pipefitter with the Local 38 who spent a lot of his post-retirement time tinkering with his train collection, and the couple belonged to the Redwood Empire Classic Chevy Club. Roger had a 1955 Chevrolet 210, which he’d owned since he was a junior in high school. 
Linda is a Sonoma County native, born in Petaluma and grew up on a ranch in Sebastopol.  She still loves gardening and taking care of their many animals. Roger was from Berkeley and lived in San Francisco before moving to Sonoma County.