SAN ANTONIO – This year marks the 40th year of the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner.
For more than 20 years one woman has lead the organizing efforts to keep this San Antonio tradition going.
Patricia Jimenez is the daughter of Raul Jimenez, who started the dinner years ago in his restaurant.
Since then, the dinner has grown and serves thousands of people a warm meal on Thanksgiving day.
This year will be different, it’s the first time that the matriarch of the family Mary Jimenez will not be there.
Mary Jimenez passed away earlier this year.
Meet matriarch of Jimenez family who helped start local Thanksgiving tradition
“It’s not going to be easy, of course, but I think she would want for everyone to push forward, be happy and make it a beautiful day," Patricia Jimenez said.
This year’s dinner will be dedicated to Mary Jimenez and Patricia Jimenez expects to serve more than 20,000 people.
“It’s become a full-fledged San Antonio tradition and that’s what makes San Antonio so special,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez took over organizing the event after her father passed away in 1998 and says it has been an honor to continue his legacy.
“I don’t know how to explain it other than there are some things that you don’t have to think twice about and it’s part of who you are,” Jimenez said.
While they are not accepting any more volunteers there are still other ways to help.