Christmas Day Dinner offers food, fun and fellowship

Photo by Amy Cherry - First United Methodist Church volunteers Teen Lewis, Vada Liptak, Carol Cunningham, Linda Smith and Pat Johnson work on preparations for the church's annual Christmas Day Dinner.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Those who find themselves alone or physically unable to cook for themselves and their family on Christmas are encouraged to attend the annual St. Marys Christmas Day Dinner.
The free dinner is open to anyone residing in the St. Marys Area School District including those in St. Marys, Kersey, Bennetts Valley and Weedville.
Meals are served beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Day at the First United Methodist Church's Asbury Hall on North St. Marys Street. Patrons can eat in or have a meal delivered.
For reservations to eat in or have a meal delivered contact Carol at 781-7401 or Marge at 787-4659. Reservations are due by Dec. 20.
On the menu is ham, turkey, various side dishes, rolls and dessert. To add an at-home feel, meals are served family style in large bowls which are passed around each table. Takeout meals also include a Jello salad.
Last year volunteers served 425 meals of which 220 were delivered, marking the largest amount of deliveries in the program's history.
Volunteers cooked 25 turkeys and 10-12 hams as part of last year's program. They are changing the dessert option from traditional pies to cake this year.
An average of 75 volunteers from throughout the community help at the event, many of which are entire families. Volunteers set up, serve, deliver and clean up at the event.
Liptak explained the volunteers have bonded a lot over the years. Many of the same people return to help with the program year after year.
The Friday Nighters have provided entertainment at the event for years, performing prior to the serving of the meals. This year, as is tradition, several youth will be caroling at the event. Santa Claus will also make an appearance.