Community Christmas dinner is on at a new location
CECILIA NASMITH Northumberland Today From left, Ken Bell, Jamie Barnes, Tamara Barnes, Brenda Matthews, Ingrid Roberts, Orenda Thiessen and (not present) Judi Sawyer lead the volunteer team that will produce a Community Christmas Feast Dec. 25.
Everyone should have a Christmas dinner fit for a king or queen.
On Dec. 25, a group of volunteers will make it happen, with a Community Christmas Feast at the Salvation Army Citadel in Cobourg.
Ken Bell and Judi Sawyer head up a team of volunteers that have worked on a similar effort for several years now, providing Christmas dinner through Grace Missionary Church in Port Hope.
"The Salvation Army is graciously offering its space and kitchen this year," volunteer Ingrid Roberts said.
Roberts and volunteer Orenda Thiessen have put together a team in Cobourg to join the Port Hope volunteers, Bell said, so it's a wonderful opportunity for both towns to come together for an important cause.
“Last year we got to spend Christmas day with almost 100 people from our community, and this year we look forward to hosting 150!” Bell said.
"We can’t stand to think of anyone home alone on Christmas day, and welcome everyone to come and enjoy a wonderful meal, music and friendship.”
"You don't have to be poor to come. If you are alone on Christmas, come join us," Brenda Matthews said.
Bell is confident that enough volunteers are already lined up. This is the seventh year for such a dinner so, as Roberts said, the group is a well-oiled machine.
"We just want people to come and enjoy," she said.
"And to know it's happening here instead of Port Hope," Thiessen added.
It's free to all, and transportation can be arranged by calling Jamie Barnes at 905-396-6985 and leaving a message.
Barnes has already had a call or two for transportation. People say they just don't want to be alone on Christmas, he said.
Cash and in-kind donations are welcome to help make it happen, Bell said, and people can drop them off in Port Hope at his store, Kenneth Bell Fashion Accessories, at 10 Walton St. (or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org). In Cobourg, donations can be made at the Church On The Hill, across the road from Northumberland Mall.
Doors open at 12:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 1:30 p.m., with live music to help provide a festive time of food and fellowship for all.
"Community supporting community is what this Christmas Lunch is all about," Bell stated.
"We offer this meal to anyone who might be alone Christmas Day, or anyone who just feels like a good hot traditional Christmas dinner. Everyone is welcome."