The spirit of giving seems to be most amplified during the holiday season and some people who do not have family or friends close by can enjoy some fellowship during Ponoka’s Community Christmas.
The date and location have not changed: hosted at the Kinsmen Community Centre on Christmas Day. This year Bob Hepp is going to host the dinner as founder Sherry Mitchell has decided to step down from organizing the event. Hepp is no stranger to the Community Christmas — he has catered it for the last 15 to 20 years. A few changes have been made to the program but his goal is, “for people to come and have Christmas they normally wouldn’t have on their own…All are welcome.”
Doors open at 10 a.m. for hot chocolate and coffee and then a buffet lunch from 12 to 1 p.m. Entertainment and games have been organized by volunteers for the day as well.
Hepp has seen many attendees who are members of the Rising Sun Club House attend the Community Christmas and he feels with it, those without family might not otherwise celebrate the day.
“It’s important,” he stated.
Many people have already volunteered their time for the day and Hepp suggests anyone who wants to donate their time call him. Even if volunteer posts are filled, he feels people can help out by coming and having a meal with someone they don’t know and enjoy each other’s company.
For him the day is about being with others and keeping the spirit of Community Christmas alive. “It’s not about Bob Hepp, it’s about Community Christmas.”
People will be able to take a plate of food home if there are leftovers and the rest gets donated to the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse, which is something Hepp has done every year. The day is one for “a meal with friendship or fellowship.”
He credits the people of Ponoka and Mitchell for making the day a welcoming Christmas Day. “The people do it, that’s who make Community Christmas.”
If you have donations or would like to volunteer please call Bob Hepp at 403-783-6165.