Joe Dorval shows Nathaniel Foster how to make pizza crust as they prepare food for the Together for Christmas dinner Dec. 25.

Dinner brings community together

Together for Christmas dinner Dec. 25 for individuals or families who do not want to be alone during the festive season

Everyone is family at Christmas.

Vernon’s sixth annual Together for Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 25 for individuals or families who do not want to be alone during the festive season.

“We’ve been growing by an average of 20 per cent every year,” said Ron Birch, who helped found the celebration with Joe Dorval.

“Word is spreading about the event and we’re getting more people all of the time. Their family may be in Toronto or Calgary and to get there is expensive and the weather doesn’t always co-operate.”

About 375 people were served last year and it’s anticipated that could climb to 425 this year.

“Christmas is about being together,” said Angela Vecqueray, who helps organize the kitchen.

And the kitchen will be a busy place as at least 32 turkeys will be cooked and 150 pounds of potatoes will be mashed.

But Together for Christmas goes beyond just a meal.

There will be entertainment, crafts and a visit from Santa Claus.

“We had about 20 to 30 children last year, mostly toddlers,” said Birch.

Donations of jackets, boots, blankets and other warm items are also being sought to distribute among dinner guests in need.

“If we don’t give it to someone there, the items will go to local agencies to distribute,” said Birch.

The dinner 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 250-308-9600.

Planning for the event is well underway but some community assistance is still needed.

Anyone interested in volunteering or providing entertainment can call Gwen at 250-550-9453.

Organizers hope for a large turnout.

“We are being really greedy. We get a lot of thank you’s but they impact us more so,” said Birch of spending time with local residents.

“This is our community and it’s a way to give back. We don’t care if you have $1 million or $1, everyone is welcome.”

For kitchen organizer Chris Lalonde, the dinner is something he looks forward to all year long.

“It’s all about the true meaning of Christmas,” he said.


Just Posted

WATCH: Coldstream garage fire as hot as 275 C: deputy fire Chief

Shop fire potential for ‘one heck of a fireworks show,’ O’Hara says

North Okanagan women head up college board

Gloria Morgan named chair and Juliette Cunningham vice-chair Tuesday

Vernon artist waves women’s flag in Penticton

SheShe declares femininity with all-encompassing exhibit

WATCH: Thieves smash way into Vernon business

Incident at Simply Delicious happened at 4:30 a.m. and was caught on video

Taps dry for some Vernon residents

Water main break shuts water off temporarily to Okanagan Avenue homes

WATCH: Thieves smash way into Vernon business

Incident at Simply Delicious happened at 4:30 a.m. and was caught on video

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Man accused in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Pot shop opens near Princeton on band land

A medical and recreational cannabis shop opened earlier this month near Princeton.… Continue reading

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Most Read