Christmas dinner needs more food, donations

With the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau’s 18th-annual community Christmas dinner less than three weeks away, organizers now are trying to make sure they’ll have enough food for the popular event.
“Things are going wonderfully, they’re in full swing,” executive director Denise Audette said this morning.
“We’re working hard getting ready for it,” she added. “But we still, of course, always need turkey and hams for the Christmas dinner. I think we need about 30 turkeys total. Hams are up in the air.
“They really are a huge issue,” Audette stressed, noting the cost of turkey and hams really add up quickly.
If they are donated, the money organizers would use to buy them then can be used to get other things, whether it’s other food or decorations.
Other items still needed beyond hams and turkeys include gravy, frozen veggies, olives, potatoes, milk, sugar cubes, rolls, pickles, dainties, coffee, tea, jellied salads, flour, ice cream toppings, margarine, tin foil, Ziploc bags, coleslaw, turnips, styrofoam cups, and paper plates.
An event like the community Christmas dinner, which will take place Christmas Day from noon-2 p.m. at Knox United Church, also needs helping hands to be a success year after year.
While she has no shortage of volunteers signed up, Audette said more are always welcome.
Something new to the community dinner this year will be a children’s centre.
“We’ll have an elf working there,” Audette noted. “There will be colouring and crafts and that type of stuff there to keep the children entertained.
“One of the things I found is we needed a place for the children to go after they ate so the adults could sit back and enjoy their dinner,” she added.
Audette also said Christmas music will be provided by Diane Maxey and her cantata. Some other local talent is still being confirmed.
Last year’s dinner drew almost 250 people and seems to be getting increasingly popular—attracting people who might not have family to share the holiday with as well as those who simply want to socialize with fellow citizens on a very special occasion.
That total doesn’t include the dozens of “Meals on Wheels” delivered to local residents that day.
Audette said those who would like a meal delivered to them on Christmas Day should contact the Volunteer Bureau before Dec. 24. The same goes for anyone who may need a ride to get to the church.
To make a food or monetary donation, or to volunteer your time, call Audette at 274-9555. Or drop by the old CN station anytime between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
In related news, Audette said tickets are still left for the Volunteer Bureau’s New Year’s Eve raffle. They cost $20 each, and are available at the Volunteer Bureau as well as numerous locations around town.
The draw will be made Dec. 31, with the winner getting $10,000. “Someone will be starting out 2006 pretty nicely,” remarked Audette. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Volunteer Bureau’s programs.

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