Thanks to the efforts of local several residents, no one had to spend Christmas Day here without a holiday meal.
The 28th-annual community Christmas dinner, held at the Knox United Church on Friday afternoon, featured turkey with all the fixings, along with a gift bag filled with chocolates, candy canes, and an orange.
“Everything went smoothly, it was perfect,” head organizer Sandra Lange of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau enthused afterwards.
Lange said about 180 people attended the dinner while plenty of volunteers also were on hand.
Meals also were delivered to homes around town thanks to “Meals on Wheels.”
Lange, along with her committee of Diane Maxey, June Caul, Gaby Hanzuk, and Judy and Gary Kielczewski, worked tirelessly ahead of the dinner to gather donations, recruit volunteers, and make plans.
The dinner returned to Knox United after being held at the Fort Frances Curling Club last year.
Recent renovations to the church allowed the dinner to be fully-accessible.
“Thank you to everybody that volunteered and all the businesses that gave donations,” Lange stressed.
“It’s a big help.”
All the turkeys were donated through the sixth-annual “Stuff-a-Cruiser” event held earlier this month while other food and cash donations were received from individuals and local businesses.
The Fort Frances Choraliers, led by Maxey, also were on hand to provided live music during the dinner.
For some volunteers, spending time serving at an event such as the community Christmas dinner is an important part of their day.
“I guess you can say it’s one of our family traditions,” said Socorro Galusha, who volunteered at the dinner and then enjoyed the meal, as well.
“On Christmas, once we are done opening all our gifts, we go and serve at the dinner to give back,” she explained.
“We are so lucky to live the life we do; the best thing we can do to show that gratefulness is to share with the community.”
Galusha also enjoyed the cheerful atmosphere inside the church.
“Everyone was so thankful to be there,” she remarked.
“It was nice to see.”