SIDNEY — The Christmas spirit arrived early in Shelby County during the 34th annual Christmas Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 12.
A total of 2,320 dinners were served at the dinner. Of that number, more than 620 shut-ins had holiday dinners delivered to their homes. The event was held in the Civil Defense Building at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.
Again this year, The Spot Restaurant prepared a holiday meal, including pies and cookies for dessert. Shelby County United Way Director of Finance and Administration, Lois Ann Kerns, said, “The Community Christmas Dinner is a wonderful tradition. It brings the community together for one big holiday celebration. It is a great way to kickoff the holiday season. We want to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, volunteers, and participants who made this day a huge success.”
More than 100 community volunteers from Shelby County participated in preparing, serving, cleaning tables, and delivering the dinners. Santa Claus was on hand to pass out candy sponsored by Ann and Merrill Asher, and/or toys and books co-sponsored by Agape Distribution, while listening to wish lists from the many children who attended the event.
“As has been the custom, the meal was free and available to all the citizens of Shelby County,” said Event Coordinator Rodney Kerns. “Everyone seems to love to help at the dinner and it is a great way for the people to get together at Christmastime.”
The dinner was co-sponsored by the Shelby County United Way with Rodney Kerns planning and coordinating the event. A special thank you is being sent to the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency who opened the facility so the public could be served in a very welcoming and spacious area. The Shelby County Adult Day Services at Fair Haven and Shelby Public Transit coordinated the home delivered meals which were delivered by community volunteers.
Rush Creek Christmas Tree Farm donated a beautiful tree that sat near Santa. Santa and his helpers listened to the Christmas lists of the attending children. The Shelby County Commissioners, Shelby County Fair Board, and the Ohio University Extension Office opened areas for volunteers and patrons to park their vehicles. The Masons from Sidney Temperance Lodge 73 made mashed potatoes during the event which were then served to the patrons and delivered as part of the home delivered meals. Many of the chairs for the event were provided by the Shelby Metropolitan Housing Authority.
Christmas music was provided by the Anna Local School Jazz Band for the listening pleasures of the patrons and volunteers in attendance. The Community Christmas Dinner is a true community event; as can be seen through support from all the donors and contributors. Adult Day Services, Agape Distribution, American Legion Post 217, Ann and Merrill Asher, Anna Local School Jazz Band, The Donald and Evelyn Bensman Foundation, Bunny’s Pharmacy, Dickman Supply Inc., Ed and Merilyn Borchers, FISH of Shelby County, Fraternal Order of Police, Kiwanis Club of Sidney, Lowe’s Home Improvement Store – Sidney, Loyal Order of the Moose 586, Mark Adams – Adams Funeral Home, The Ohio State University Extension Office, Rush Creek Christmas Tree Farm, Schaffer Insurance, Shelby County Commissioners, Shelby County EMA, Shelby County Fair Board, Shelby County Sheriff, Shelby County Sheriff’s Reserve, Shelby County United Way, Shelby Metropolitan Housing Authority, Shelby Public Transit, Temperance Lodge 73, The Spot Restaurant, Jim and Ginny Thompson and Trupointe all provided time, donated items, and/or donated funds to show the true meaning of a community event.
“The true success of the Community Christmas Dinner is held in the hearts and giving nature of the people and businesses in Shelby County. Thanks to all of you,” said Rodney Kerns.
“We want to express our thanks to TAM FM 105.5 for announcing the event and having Rodney Kerns, event coordinator, and Scott Barr, Shelby County United Way Executive Director, on the radio to promote the annual community Christmas Dinner,” said Lois Ann Kerns.