SIDNEY — More than 1,385 dinners were served at the 35th Annual Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 10.
Of that number, over 322 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 the holiday meal, including pies and cookies for dessert.
“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,” Shelby County United Way Director of Finance and Administration Lois Ann Kerns said. “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,” Event Coordinator Rodney Kerns said. “Everyone seems to love to help at the dinner and it is a great way for the people to get together at Christmas time”.
The dinner was co-sponsored by the Shelby County United Way with 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 (DayBreak 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 State University Extension Office opened areas for volunteers and patrons to park their vehicles.
Volunteers served around 500 pounds of cooked turkey, 240 pounds of dressing, 20 gallons of gravy , 240 pounds of green beans , 53 pies (pumpkin, apple, cherry), 50 dozen cookies (sugar and chocolate chip), 48 pounds or cranberries, 150 dozen dinner rolls, and at least 250 pounds of mashed potatoes.
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. Over 100 volunteers 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,” Kerns said.