The tradition of bringing members of the community together on Christmas Day is going strong.
Organizer Bob Hepp said he looks forward to seeing many families and community members come to Community Christmas, which is designed to give all those willing a place to go on Dec. 25th.
The plans are already underway and the Kinsmen Community Centre has already been booked. “It’s a done deal,” said Hepp.
Last year 230 people signed the guestbook and Hepp is getting some help from Carla Prediger and Val Schabert to organize volunteers. While he organizes the meal, Prediger and Schabert will manage the division of labor, assigning volunteers to specific tasks and ensuring everyone knows what they are doing on the day.
“I want these two girls to co-ordinate the volunteers for me,” said Hepp.
He enjoys having so much help from people and feels the most important part is to give people a chance to be together. A colouring table and gifts will be set up at the hall with 300 stuffed animals donated from the United Church.
“It’s like a regular banquet…We’re going to have a candy bar for the kids again,” explained Hepp.
One family even donated 30 boxes of chocolates for the event. “The best thing about Community Christmas is it is Community Christmas.”
Any donations can be made to Hepp or at the Servus Credit Union under the account of Ponoka Community Christmas. And because it’s Christmas, volunteers will be packing food to go for those who want to take some home until it runs out.
“Everybody gets a meal,” said Hepp.
For those who cannot get around easily, Hepp has persuaded the Wheelchair Van Society to drop off and pick up people. He advises caregivers must accompany those people with special needs as volunteers at the dinner are not equipped to help. Anyone needing transportation can call the society in advance.
He hopes more people will be able to come down using the Wheelchair Van Society. Volunteers who want to help should call Carla Prediger at 403-783-4078 or Val Schabert at 403-783-8799.