GALENA — The community came together, while remaining socially distant, April 7 in honor of those who have passed from COVID-19 and in honor of Alice Newnam and Joanne Price — two pillars of the Galena community who are currently battling the virus.

A prayer vigil was held in the Twinny’s Place parking lot. The restaurant, a family-run business that celebrated its 40th anniversary a year ago in April, was founded by Newnam and Price’s father — one half of the twins that inspired the name for the restaurant.

“I think everyone will have stories and shared experiences of coming to Twinny’s after all these years,” Galena Mayor John Carroll said April 7. “All the great fellowship, food and conversations we’ve had with everyone here.”

More than 30 people from the Galena community gathered outside for the vigil, all wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.

The Rev. Zachary Brown, of Olivet United Methodist Church, said his congregation reached out to him about organizing a vigil for Newnam and Price as well as others who have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown said when he first moved to the area, Price and Newnam welcomed him to the restaurant as if he were family.

“When I got here in town, I came up to Twinny’s to eat my first meal,” Brown said. “I came in and sat down and Alice noticed me.”

He remembered Newnam immediately recognized him having only met him once before. She gave him a gift card for the restaurant and told him his first meal was “on the house.”

The Rev. Steve Hays, of Eastern Shore Bible Baptist Church, spoke in praise of the Galena community. Lisa Usilton, prayer coordinator at Olivet, honored Twinny’s for “feeding the hungry” throughout the pandemic.

The restaurant was able to stay open last year by offering curbside delivery. Twinny’s also offered to meet Delawareans at the border when most states had closed their borders to non-essential travel.

“Like Zach said, Twinny’s has, at times, been my kitchen,” Carroll said. “They’ve served me and fed me well here and everyone in the community.”

Closing out the vigil, Brown asked those gathered to speak the name of someone who had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He thanked the community for attending the vigil as it served as a reminder to those gathered that they are not alone.

“Thank you for coming out this evening for Alice, for Joanne and I think for the community to recognize we’re not alone,” Brown said.

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