SAN ANTONIO -

Organizers have kicked off the official preparations for the 34th-annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner.

The event, which provides a meal and entertainment for senior citizens and some of the city's less fortunate, will be held on Thanksgiving Day at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio. 

During Wednesday's kickoff event, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro introduced a new tradition by giving an official pardon to a live turkey from Fiesta Farm.

While that turkey is off the hook, there will be more than 9,000 pounds of turkey served at this year's Jimenez dinner.

Walmart donated $25,000 to help kickstart the preparations.

The Jimenez dinner tradition started 34 years ago when Raul and Mary Jimenez decided to do something for the community.

That first dinner fed just a few thousand people. Now, it's the largest dinner of its kind.

Raul Jimenez passed away 15 years ago and his daughter credits supporters for helping them carry on the tradition.

"I want to say that we're so thankful to the city of San Antonio, the citizens of San Antonio, and everyone who comes together each year to continue this wonderful tradition," said Patricia Jimenez.

It takes 4,000 volunteers to pull off the event.

You can get more information about the dinner and how to participate or volunteer on the Raul Jimenez Dinner website.