Community Christmas dinner provides food and fellowship

Warm welcomes, warm wishes and a warm meal were made a part of the Christmas atmosphere of the 12th annual Ponoka Community Christmas dinner on Dec. 25.
Over 100 guests of all age groups attended the Christmas dinner at the Ponoka Kinsmen Centre.

  • Jan. 2, 2008 11:00 a.m.

Warm welcomes, warm wishes and a warm meal were made a part of the Christmas atmosphere of the 12th annual Ponoka Community Christmas dinner on Dec. 25.

Over 100 guests of all age groups attended the Christmas dinner at the Ponoka Kinsmen Centre.

Sherrie Mitchell, the coordinator of the event, greeted everyone at the door with a Merry Christmas, a big smile and a solid hug.

“People just need to be loved and have a hug. Everyone needs a hug,” said Mitchell. “Besides, this way I get my quota of hugs too.”

Mayor Larry Henkelman also greeted people at the door and was eager to help with the dinner, “This is really good for the community,” he said. “It’s a great thing for people who are home alone or don’t feel like making a big dinner. They can come down here and be in the company of the community and enjoy a meal with everyone else.”

Name tags and numbers for prizes that were to be won during the afternoon were also given out before entering the hall.

Mitchell believes that although there are people that come because of poor financial situations, most guests are there for the fellowship.

“I think that everyone needs someplace to be on Christmas. For some people they come here because of poverty but for most it’s because they like the camaraderie of Christmas.”

Joining in on the fellowship was Josie Malcolm and her two sons.

“This is fabulous. I have no family around here and this is really nice for the kids,” she said.

After grace and a round of thank you’s to all who made the dinner possible, the volunteers filled the guests’ plates and there were many compliments on the meal and service.

Henkelman, who also helped serve, commended Mitchell and all the volunteers for taking the time to help with the dinner.

“Mitchell has done a lot of work and put a lot of effort into this event,” he said. “Much preparation went into this and there are a lot of volunteers doing a tremendous amount of work.”

The Crestomere Cowboys, Russel Adams, George Wheatly and Richard Adams volunteered their musical skills by performing throughout the afternoon for the enjoyment and entertainment of the guests. The dinner also had gifts for the children.

Bob Hepp, a local caterer, volunteered his services to serve a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Mitchell was very thankful for all who came together to share in and help with the community dinner.

“It wouldn’t happen without the support of the town, it’s the people that do this, that make this happen,” she said. “I’m so appreciative of everyone coming here, it’s so special that they came.”