Christmas dinner all set to go

Christmas came early for Vanessa Hebert this year as a flood of donations for the annual community dinner poured in late last week.
“We were starting to worry,” Hebert, the executive director of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, admitted Monday.
“But I don’t know why we ever did—the community always comes together,” she added.
“Things are excellent, they’re wonderful,” Hebert enthused. “We had a wave of donations come in Thursday and Friday. Now, we don’t need any turkeys, no hams.
“We don’t have to worry about anything.”
The goodwill Hebert has seen has ranged from cash donations from the local Lions Club, Canadian Tire, and Canada Safeway to food from individuals and businesses such as McDonald’s Restaurant.
Pizza Connection offered to use its ovens to cook up turkeys while poinsettias were supplied by Lowey’s Greenhouses.
Hebert noted she and a team of volunteers will spend the next two days preparing Knox United Church for the community dinner, which runs from noon-2 pm. on Dec. 25.
She noted she has a good number of volunteers lined up to decorate, cook, serve up the food, and deliver “Meals on Wheels.”
“But we could always use more,” she added. “Call us, or just show up and say, ‘Put me to work!’ We’ll find something for you to do!”
The Volunteer Bureau’s number is 274-9555. If no one answers, just leave a message.
Hebert stressed everyone and anyone is welcome to attend the free dinner, which seems to be getting increasingly popular year after year—seeing a mix of 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.
Last year’s community Christmas dinner drew about 220 people—20 more than the previous year.
Jackie and Gerry Guimond will provide the entertainment again this year.
Anyone who would like a Christmas dinner, but can’t leave their homes, can order a “Meal on Wheels” by calling 274-9555. But these orders must be placed prior to noon tomorrow (Dec. 24).
More than 50 “Meals on Wheels” are expected to be delivered on Christmas Day.
Hebert said those who want to attend the dinner but don’t have a vehicle, or cannot afford a cab, either can call the Volunteer Bureau prior to noon tomorrow (Dec. 24) and leave a message or call North Air Services’ “Dial-a-Ride” program (274-9741).
When calling “Dial-a-Ride,” be sure to tell the dispatcher you are going to Knox United Church for the Christmas dinner so they can bill the Volunteer Bureau.
(Fort Frances Times)