Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star Rebeka Toporchak

Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star Rebeka Toporchak

Christmas tradition serves up cheer

Vernon’s seventh annual Together for Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 25 and it’s for individuals or families who don’t want to be alone

A holiday tradition continues to bring people together.

Vernon’s seventh annual Together for Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 25 and it’s for individuals or families who don’t want to be alone.

“You could be a millionaire or not have a penny, it doesn’t matter,” said Ron Birch, who founded the celebration with Joe Dorval.

“Everyone should be somewhere at Christmas. It can be a tough day on your own.”

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.

And if someone is unable to get to the dinner, a meal can be delivered.

Birch believes about 300 people were served last year.

This year’s dinner, which also includes entertainment and crafts, will be held at the St. James Parish Hall (St. James School), with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. and the meal at 4 p.m.

Anyone needing a ride to the dinner or wanting a meal delivered to them can call Jae at 250-540-1120.

Volunteers are in place and businesses have helped provide the food and other supplies.

“There is incredible support from the community to help us provide a special day for people,” said Birch.

Birch and the other organizers look forward to Together for Christmas.

“The reward we get is unbelievable,” he said.

“There is no way to describe the feeling we get from doing this. Just being there and enjoying Christmas is so important.”

Planning is also underway for next year.

“As a result of the size that we are getting to be, we are in need of a place to store our supplies and decorations for the year,” said Birch.

 

“We probably need a room about eight-foot-by-eight-foot. The other issue we have is finding a freezer to store up to 25 turkeys and all of our baking from the baking bee from about Dec. 5 until Dec. 23 each year.”