Innermost spirit of Christmas shines in annual community dinner

The all-volunteer crew fed nearly 400 people at this year's free Community Christmas Dinner in Perry. Photo courtesy Mike Theulen

The all-volunteer crew fed nearly 400 people at this year’s free Community Christmas Dinner in Perry. Photo courtesy Mike Theulen

Another Christmas holiday of loving kindness was celebrated Wednesday at the 13th annual free Community Christmas Dinner in Perry. is honored to record the following reactions to the annual fellowship meal by volunteers and attendees.

Deb Miller of Perry: “To our Perry community and surrounding areas: We could not be any more proud of this city and our area friends for all the support for the Free Christmas dinner. However you gave, from the businesses supplying food goods, to our churches, groups, volunteers, donations, whatever piece you played, we are so grateful. The success of this dinner comes from you and your desire to help bring our community together to make this day a beautiful event. We help make so many people’s day a little happier, bringing them a delicious dinner and fellowship for what is sometimes a very sad day for some. Thank you to all that came to eat and enjoy the great meal. I truly want to thank the kitchen crew who are hardly seen but work their tails off to keep the food replenished. Larry Meacham runs the crew, and we could never pull this off without his management of all of us. We are blessed to live in a wonderful community that cares and loves each other. Bless all of us this coming New Year, remembering our day and carrying the giving spirit in 2020. Love and Peace, my friends.”

Larry Meacham of Perry: “Another successful Community Christmas Dinner! We fed around 385 and will be donating about $1,600 to the local Food Pantry. Thank you to all the businesses and individuals who donated time, food, talents and money to this event. We have such a great group of volunteers who come in to help us set up, prepare, serve and clean up, many who come back every year. We are so grateful for ALL of you.”

Mike Theulen of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: “Spending Christmas in Perry, Iowa, again this year with my mother. Perry is a small town (8,000ish residents). Each Christmas the town sponsors a free Community Dinner that is staffed entirely by volunteers. All of the food is donated by townspeople (homemade desserts, too!). Cash donations are accepted and used to support the town’s food pantry. They also deliver meals to those who are physically unable to attend. I have had the pleasure of attending a few of these over the years and come away with a very warm heart (and a full belly!). If you look in the right places, you’ll find the true spirit of Christmas (humanity). I hope all of you had as great a day as I did! MERRY CHRISTMAS!”


  1. Jim: Thank you for publishing this. I have come away every year of the last 13 very tired but very proud and grateful for the many businesses and individuals who have pitched in to make this a wonderful COMMUNITY event. Looking forward to 2020.


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