Ponoka Community Christmas dinner will be held Dec. 25

Ponoka Community Christmas dinner will be held Dec. 25

If you can’t go home for the holidays, the holidays are being brought to you.

A Ponoka Community Christmas buffet turkey dinner with all the trimmings is being held at the Royal Canadian Legion Ponoka Branch No. 66 on Christmas day, Dec. 25.

“The purpose is to have a Christmas if you have no family around,” said long-time organizer and cook Bob Hepp.

“It’s not so much as need, as the community celebrating together on Christmas Day.”

It’s a gathering so any one who may not have somewhere else to spend Christmas.

Coffee and entertainment will begin at 10 am to noon and dinner will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

“Sit down with someone you don’t know and have a great lunch,” said Hepp.

Not too many families come, but there will be a table with colouring books set up for children if so.

There will also be door prizes and a master of ceremonies, as well as a band and Christmas caroling.

The event is put together through donations — whether that’s cash, or bags of potatoes or cans of cranberries — and Hepp’s catering company purchases whatever else is needed.

Hepp took over as the main organizer of the event in 2012, but has cooked the dinner for many years before that. So many in fact, he says he can’t remember exactly how long it’s been.

The dinner this year is estimated to feed about 350 people (including 40 to 50 volunteers, 10 people in the kitchen, and all the guests).

If you’re interested in volunteering for this event, call Val Schabert at 403-783-8799.

Donations can be made by calling Hepp at 403-783-6165 or by dropping them off at the Servus Credit Union.

For those that need transportation, the handyvan will be available for bookings (with 24 hours notice) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 403-783-0399.