Organizers Ron Birch (left) and Joe Dorval are inviting residents to attend the Together for Christmas dinner Sunday at St. James Parish Hall in Vernon.

Organizers Ron Birch (left) and Joe Dorval are inviting residents to attend the Together for Christmas dinner Sunday at St. James Parish Hall in Vernon.

All invited for Christmas dinner

The tarts and cookies have been lovingly baked and the turkeys are just waiting to be prepared.

The tarts and cookies have been lovingly baked and the turkeys are just waiting to be prepared. But it wouldn’t be Christmas if there wasn’t people to share it with.

The annual Together for Christmas in Vernon will be held Sunday and it is for anyone in the community who wants to gather and enjoy the festive spirit.

“Those who want to be there will hopefully come,” said Lisa Froom, one of the organizers along with Ron Birch and Joe Dorval.

The doors open at the St. James Parish Hall (in St. James School) at 3 p.m. and there will be crafts and entertainment.

That will be followed by a traditional Christmas dinner at 4 p.m.

Everyone is invited to attend no matter their  background or religious beliefs — single people, seniors or entire families.

A special focus during the event are those individuals who feel alone.

“A lot of people shun Christmas because it’s not been a happy time for them but we’ve turned it into a happy time,” said Dorval.

Transportation to the dinner is available by request, and for those people physically unable to leave home, meals can be delivered.

To make arrangements for transportation or meal deliveries, call Birch at 250-545-0383 or Dorval at 250-503-1945.

This is the second year for Together for Christmas and it is the result of considerable community support, including from churches, physicians, the Upper Room Mission and teachers.

A call for volunteers has also been embraced by the community, and all volunteer positions have been filled at this time.

“People have been so very generous in their willingness to offer us their time and talents on Christmas Day,” said Rhodina Hobbs, who is co-ordinating the volunteers.

While volunteers are no longer needed for Together for Christmas, there is still plenty of room at the dinner table.

“We want to urge those that would have been a volunteer to come and celebrate with us and share a Christmas turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, even though we have all of our volunteer positions filled,” said Birch.