New American Starts New Dinner Tradition in Lehighton

LEHIGHTON — Many people spend part of their Thanksgiving helping serve food to the needy.

In some area communities, it’s a yearly tradition. But in Carbon County, a businessman hopes he’s started a new tradition.

Like most communities, Lehighton virtually shuts down Thanksgiving day. And like most communities, some cope with hard times on this holiday.

In the kitchen of the Lehighton Rec Center, Bobby Buglov supervises a dozen volunteers cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  He wants to brighten Thanksgiving for those who don’t have the means for a good meal or those who don’t have family to visit.

“I just wanted to do something for the community,” said Buglov.  “They’ve been very good to me.”

There is no Thanksgiving holiday in Bobby Buglov’s native Bulgaria, the nation he left seven years ago to marry a woman from Lehighton.

He now runs the Verona Pizzeria here. And he’s giving back to a community where he’s found success.

“It’s a good holiday,” said Buglov.  “It’s good to give back.”

Heather Buglov said her husband always liked Thanksgiving, but didn’t like taking it easy.

“This year, we were like, ‘We don’t do anything we’re just sitting, so how about, like, help other people,’” Heather said.

So, Bobby uses this day to trade tossing pizzas for cooking a traditional meal for the needy.

This is the first year for the event.

Buglov and volunteers from his restaurant served about 30.

As the volunteers worked to cook Thanksgiving dinner for people in a small room, they took note that they’re next to a very large gymnasium.

“If it goes well today, we have another big room in there, so maybe we can fill them up both and make it bigger,” said an optimistic Bobby Buglov, who hopes he’s started a Thanksgiving tradition in an old community he calls his new home.