PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people

PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people
PHOTOS: Yuletide Dinner provides families a fun, communal Christmas meal for over 500 people

The annual Yuletide Dinner served its 22nd community meal for those in need of food or fellowship at the Sacred Heart Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

A cozy family affair for many of the dinner’s patrons, the Sacred Heart Hall was full of steady traffic as streams of people came in, sat down and were treated to a quality turkey dinner, In addition to the chatter of conversation, Christmas tunes sung by the Cariboo Men’s Choir and later by LeRae Haynes and Friends.

The event was organized as a joint effort by the local Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre. This is a partnership that Lynn Paterson, the president of the society, said has been going on for the last five years. She said the goal of her organization is to “feed the poor through Christ” so an event like this is right up their alley, with many of the night’s volunteers made up of parishioners of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Cooking enough food for around 600 people is no small task which is why Paterson said they start their cooking a full two days in advance, in this case on Monday, Dec. 2, when they began cooking 45 turkeys, itself an undertaking. Around halfway through the night, she said she wasn’t sure exactly how many people they’d served but she estimated it was close to the 400 mark.

“I like the idea that all the volunteers get together and work together to pull off this event. This time of year, Christmas time, a little bit of giving, I think we enjoy it more (sometimes) than the people we serve. I think that’s what I enjoy the most,” Paterson said. “It just brings the community together and shows a little bit of love and kindness to our neighbour and (a chance) to forget about our problems and the troubles.”

Much of the food St. Vincent de Paul purchased for the night was done at the Real Canadian Wholesale Club, who granted them a donation to help subsidize the costs.

Overall, based on the smiles on people’s faces, Paterson said she considers this iteration of the Yuletide Dinner a great success. She said that as long as the CCCDC wants them to hold the event, she and the society will be more than happy to work with them.

Read More: 21st Annual Yuletide Dinner to help spread holiday cheer

Paterson added that the Society of St Vincent de Paul is always open to donations of food or money and provides sandwiches and soup to those in need in Boitanio Park every Sunday. Everything they do is done thanks to generous donations from the community, she added.

The CCCDC, meanwhile, first started organizing this event just over two decades ago and still handles raising funds to pay for the event and the responsibility of finding a venue each year. The fundraising effort was led this year by Sara Fulton, a five year veteran of the CCCDC, who said this is her second year organizing their side of the event.

“We more or less look after the donations, so it’s a big community event, we couldn’t do it without all of our community supporters and the donations that come in,” Fulton said. “We put together all the stockings for the kids and that is as well, all donations from local stores, and individuals, sometimes.”

Overall, it can take upwards of $10,000 to put on this event, Fulton said, with funds for this year still coming in, although they had more than enough to fund the dinner. They also provided two vehicles to transport people to and from the event for those who didn’t have a way to get to Sacred Heart.

In addition to St. Vincent de Paul and the CCCDC, Fulton said that Brice O’Neill, chef of the former New World Coffee and Tea House, donates his time to serve as head chef and oversee all the cooking.

“It’s a super fabulous event, it’s such an eye opener how many people partake in it and how many mouths we feed. For some people, this is their Christmas dinner and they don’t get another one,” Fulton said. “It’s pretty amazing, some years we’ve done 700 people.”



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Northern Health vaccination clinic is set for the Wells Community Hall on Tuesday, April 20. (Photo submitted)
COVID-19 vaccination clinic coming to Wells

Vaccine to be available for anyone 18+

The BC Wildfire Service will help BC Parks conduct a controlled burn within the Churn Creek Protected Area sometime between April 14-19. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.
Prescribed ecosystem restoration burn set for Churn Creek area.

BC Wildfire Service crews will assist B.C. Parks in the burn, scheduled for this week.

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read