This year’s 16th annual free Christmas dinner for the Perry community and surrounding towns served a record number of diners for the second consecutive year, organizers said Tuesday.
Some 420 people were fed on Christmas Day, including 166 home-delivered meals.
About $1,700 in cash and food donations were also raised for the Perry Food Pantry, again proving the generosity of the businesses, groups and individuals who make this celebration possible, they committee said.
Longtime organizer Deb Miller had a special message about the banquet:
Thank you, Perry and the surrounding communities! The Free Christmas Dinner was a huge success. This dinner is put on by this great city and by businesses, churches, establishments and individual people living here and in the surrounding area. The Elks Lodge donates the building for us to be able to have this huge dinner and cook on site, but it is not their event.
The committee starts sometime in September putting everything in place, with donations of food supplies ranging from pork loins, ham, turkey and all the fixings to the place settings, cookies, candies and countless other things.
So many people are involved with this event. How do we thank everyone for their time, products, planning, setting up, cooking, cleaning up? We should be truly thankful for living in this caring, generous community, where we pride ourselves in each other’s happiness and well being.
The love passed to one another is all most magical, leaving everyone with a sense of peace and hope. Our goal over these last 17 years was to make this an annual event and include as many people as we could to help spread the Christmas spirit and thank each other for a great past year.
This wonderful event is only accomplished by a village that is willing to give beyond their share, donating the items needed and coming together to share a holiday meal. Thank you, dear friends. You really are the best!
Longtime organizer Larry Meacham said innumerable volunteers make the community Christmas dinner a ringing success every year, and he drew special attention to the following food donors:
- Tyson Fresh Meats
- Fareway Meats
- First Christian Church
- Denny and Sandy Pennington
- Dallas County Hospital
- Fareway Grocery
- Heartland Church of Christ
- First Baptist Church
- Optimist Club
- Christ Lutheran Church
- Perry Elks Club
- Farm Credit Services
- Dallas County Area Retired School Personnel Association
- Trinity Lutheran Church
- Hastings Funeral Home
- Minburn Communications
- Granger Girl Scouts