Fellowship served at Community Christmas

The purpose of Community Christmas is bringing people together. As Bob Hepp, organizer for the first time, put it: “Nobody sits alone.”

Bob Hepp uses his colourful Christmas chef’s hat and serves people at the Community Christmas Dec. 25.

Bob Hepp uses his colourful Christmas chef’s hat and serves people at the Community Christmas Dec. 25.

The purpose of Community Christmas is bringing people together. As Bob Hepp, organizer for the first time, put it: “Nobody sits alone.”

There was overwhelming response of volunteers who came out to help, about 50 people. By noon there were at least 225 people eating together. “It was a good response from people in town.”

There was even a nun from the Sisters of the Merciful Jesus in Hobbema who attended to see how it was organized.

Hepp was quick to point out Ponoka residents are what made the Community Christmas possible. There were many cash donations and Hepp put funds into a Community Christmas bank account with the hopes that if there is any extra money, it will be donated to a worthy cause.

Mayor Larry Henkelman was among the many people who attended. Hepp feels sharing the meal with everyone is one of the important aspects of the day. People came from Three Hills and Edmonton to the Community Christmas. There were enough people that Hepp was worried the kitchen would run out of food but there was enough to take leftovers home if diners wished. His hope is to not have an excess of leftovers.

Among the events of the day was musical entertainment, arts and crafts and even a candy bar for the kids.

Hepp hopes someone will take over the organization of the event but intends to continue helping out. He is proud of the amount of people who came.

“It was awesome to see the variety of people that were there…A very good cross-section of the people of Ponoka,” he explained. “I think it’s just phenomenal.”

The challenge was organizing the volunteers and their tasks such as setting up and decorating, greeting, serving and clean up but he is grateful for the time people offered.

Hepp looks forward to next year and bringing the community together again.