Thanksgiving Lunch Awards Community Members

By Kelly McCarthy

November 13, 2012 Updated Nov 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Thanksgiving has a way of bringing families and friends together.

More than 500 Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce members are celebrating the community for giving back.

Thanksgiving is just over a week away but a sold out crowd shared a meal and honored those who give back to the community.

The event is the 17th annual tradition that includes an awards ceremony and keynote speaker.

The two awards presented are the Community Advocate of the Year and Corporate Citizen of the Year.

They recognize businesses and organizations that went out of their way to give back to the community.

Hatala Orthodontists is recognized for major contributions to the area like Relay for Life and Wendy's Walk, but also for always saying yes to the little sponsors too., such as little league teams and boy scouts.

"My mindset is that the community is not here for me I'm here for the community, and we just do everything we can because I love and live and work in this place," said Mark Hatala of Hatala Orthodontists.

"We make our living here, we live here, we love where we live, so it's our way of giving back to the community when we do volunteer things here in our area," said Pat Kilts, President of the Greater Binghamton Association of Realtors.

Pat Kilts says the Greater Binghamton Association of Realtors is delivering a truck full of food donations to CHOW on Wednesday.

The food will go to needy families on Thanksgiving Day.

The event wrapped up with the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce presenting a check donation of $1,500 to the Alzheimer's Association.

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