December 23, 2012 - 6:00 AM
An annual free Christmas dinner put on by members of the community has a surplus of volunteers this year.
Dave Hobbs, one of the organizers, says between 70-80 volunteers make Together for Christmas a success. This year, he says the group had to turn away 80 people wanting to volunteer because they have more than enough hands already.
"We have people in the kitchen, we have turkey carvers, a clean-up crew and people on parking," Hobbs says. "This year, we have drivers as well."
The dinner, held in the gymnasium of St. James School, is open to anyone who has nowhere else to go.
"It's not just for the homeless," Hobbs says. "It's for anyone who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone."
With ten people to a table, Hobbs estimates the crew feeds about 240 people Christmas evening. He says food is donated from individuals and businesses around Vernon, with extra goodies being whipped up at baking-bees.
Doors open at the St. James Parish Hall at 2:30 p.m. with crafts, music and other entertainment. A traditional dinner is served at 4 p.m.
Hobbs says the dinner is non-denominational, welcoming individuals and families no matter what their religious beliefs or backgrounds are.
Hobbs says the event has grown tremendously from its humble beginnings.
"The first year was abysmal," he says. "There were three times as many volunteers as guests."
A lot has changed since then.
The event is getting bigger every year as the word spreads. Even though all the volunteer roles are filled this year, Hobbs invites people to come out and join the dinner as guests.
"Come on down, we'll gladly find you a seat," he says.
For information on transportation, or meal delivery, call Ron: 250-545-0383 or Joe: 250-503-1945
To get on the wait list for volunteering next year, call Dave: 250-545-6726
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012