Jae McDermott mixes up another batch of hay stacks during the Christmas Together baking bee Saturday at St. James School.

Jae McDermott mixes up another batch of hay stacks during the Christmas Together baking bee Saturday at St. James School.

Christmas dinner serves up togetherness

The eighth annual dinner and celebration takes place Dec. 25

Being alone for the holidays is an unfortunate reality for many people. But it doesn’t have to be that way thanks to Together for Christmas.

The eighth annual dinner and celebration takes place Dec. 25.

“Anybody who is alone or lonely, we want them to come out,” said Ron Birch, one of the organizers.

“Whether it’s individuals, couples or families, we have a place for them.”

In one case last year, a family from Edmonton was driving through Vernon on Christmas Day when they met a Together for Christmas volunteer at a gas station. An invitation for dinner was extended.

“They had just a great time,” said Gwen Barker, also an organizer with Birch, Tiffany Karens, Chris Lalonde and Jae McDermott.

About 400 people were served last year.

“All of our guests get treated special,” said Birch.

The doors for the alcohol and drug free event will open at St. James Parish Hall (St. James School) at 2:30 p.m.

A number of activities are planned, including crafts, gingerbread cookie decorating and entertainment.

“There will also be Christmas-themed table games,” said McDermott.

Dinner will then be served at 4 p.m.

Birch and Joe Dorval, who died earlier this year, started Together for Christmas because they realized there were many people alone during the holidays.

“Joe suggested it and I wasn’t so sure about it, but here we are eight years later and we’re still doing it,” said Birch.

Anyone who needs a ride to the dinner can call 250-308-9973, and any businesses or residents wanting to sponsor the dinner can either call 250-308-9973 or e-mail togetherforchristmas@gmail.com

“Thanks to all of the businesses and the community for their support,” said McDermott.

Together for Christmas, which is now a registered society, can be found on Facebook.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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