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A place at the table

Tanya Kaempf and her daughter Jordan, 12, work with other volunteers during a baking bee at St. James School. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Tanya Kaempf and her daughter Jordan, 12, work with other volunteers during a baking bee at St. James School.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

Aholiday tradition is a time to renew old acquaintances and make new friends.

Ron Birch is involved, once again, in organizing the Christmas Together dinner Dec. 25, but he is joined this year by Angela Vecqueray and Kari Sargeant, who previously put together a Boxing Day feast.

“We’re becoming one,” said Sargeant.

The fifth annual Christmas Together dinner takes place Dec. 25 at the St. James parish hall (St. James School), with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. There will be crafts and dinner at 4 p.m.

“I’m working on entertainment,” said Vecqueray.

Everyone is invited no matter their circumstances — an individual with no family nearby, seniors, a single parent with children or entire families who just want to embrace the spirit of Christmas.

“They can be millionaires but they can still get very lonely,” said Birch.

Also invited are those who struggle to put food on the table.

“We don’t care about a person’s status. We just want them to come to dinner,” said Sargeant.

Meals can also be provided to those who are physically unable to attend the event and transportation to Together for Christmas will be available.

For a ride to the event or to have a meal delivered, call Birch at 250-545-0383 or Sargeant at 250-306-0970.

About 300 people were served up last year, and that means volunteers are required to do everything from cooking and serving to security, set-up and parking.

There are volunteer shifts for Dec. 23, 24, 25 and 27.

Specific jobs will be given to volunteers, who also get to enjoy the meal, and anyone wanting to volunteer can call Cheryl at 250-503-4703.

Preparing so many meals means a lot of food is required.

“If the community wants to donate towards the dinner, we would really appreciate it,” said Sargeant.

Birch is hoping everyone who wants to embrace the spirit of the season will attend Christmas Together.

“It has become more of a community event,” he said of people coming together and making friends.

 

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