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Posted at 3:12 PM ET, 11/24/2010

Virginia's own Thanksgiving traditions underway

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Spotted at the Palm Restaurant in downtown Washington, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), celebrating a lengthy pre-Thanksgiving meal with about 200 of his closest friends and family.

Included in the crowd were political operatives Joe Trippi, Mike McCurry and Vernon Jordan. Also on hand, Warner's 89-year old father Bob, visiting from Connecticut.

It was the 24th annual Palm lunch for Warner, who began the event with some fellow high-tech executives to benefit charity. After hours of eating and drinking, they write hefty checks to a designated group. This year's lunch benefited several anti-hunger organizations, including the group Share Our Strength.

"He's been a leading philanthropist in the region for 20 years, and this is one of the ways the NoVa IT and venture capital communities have regularly and generously supported this region's nonprofit community," said spokesman Kevin Hall.

Meanwhile, 100 miles south in Richmond, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) got to preside over his first Thanksgiving tribute ceremony since taking office in January.

The ceremony traces its roots to a 333-year old treaty between Native Americans and the British crown. Chiefs of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian tribes gifted Virginia McDonnell with two deer bucks and a turkey in lieu of taxes, leaving them arrange gracefully on the brick walkway of the Executive Mansion.

"This is part of the rich and marvelous heritage of the Commonwealth of Virginia," McDonnell said.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 24, 2010; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: Traditional fare, Va. wine, on the menu for governor's Thanksgiving

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