Lewis County Drug Court graduate giving out free Thanksgiving Day meals


On Thanksgiving Day, Centralia Chevron manager and Lewis County Drug Court graduate Leah Rader will once again be giving out free holiday meals to anyone who wants one. 

Having originally started last Thanksgiving, Rader, along with her family, friends and coworkers, cook and hand out free meals for the holidays. Rader had a run-in with the law previously and has spent some time living on the streets herself. She said she knows how helpful having just one hot meal can be, especially during a holiday. 

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, Rader and those helping her will begin handing out Thanksgiving Day meals at the Chevron Rader manages, located at 520 S. Tower Ave. in Centralia. 

The meals will consist of a Thanksgiving casserole complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy. It will be served with a side of sweet potato casserole and a slice of pie for dessert, Rader said. 

“And of course it’s free and anyone is welcome to come!” she added.

Lewis County Drug Court was created in 2004 and is a voluntary program for addicts charged with a felony, according to Drug Court Program Manager Stephanie Miller.

The program targets offenders with a poor prognosis for success on their own, and aids them with structure and support using a three-phase recovery program. Drug Court lasts a minimum of 16 months, with most participants graduating after 19 to 22 months.

To graduate, a Drug Court participant must have a full-time job and stable housing, complete recommended treatment, be clean for at least six months and in the program for at least 16 months, have a sober mentor and pay any court-ordered fines and restitution stemming from their case, according to Miller. Once someone graduates, their charges are dismissed.