Yuletide dinner volunteers head chef Brice O’Neill (from left), sous-chef Kathy Turner, Paulette Hrynkewich, Beth Neville and Jane Straub dish up the plates in a very orderly fashion at the annual community dinner last year. The event provided a beautiful, delicious Christmas meal to those in need. Angie Mindus photo

Preparations underway for 22nd Yuletide Dinner

The dinner is put on by CCCDC, Sacred Heart Parish and Society of St. Vincent De Paul

Sara Fulton

Special to The Tribune

The 22nd Annual Yuletide Dinner is coming up at the Sacred Heart Hall on Wednesday, December 4th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings is free to those who find themselves lean on funds or short of company during the holidays. This year the event is being coordinated by the CDC’s Vanessa Riplinger.

“There is a real need in our community,” Riplinger said. “Last year we served over 500 dinners. It is important for families to be able to celebrate Christmas together.”

The dinner is held in partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, Sacred Heart Parish, and the Society of St. Vincent De Paul and made possible with the help of volunteers and donations from the community.

Riplinger said it is a real team effort. Brice O’Neill from the New World Coffee and Tea House and Lynn Paterson from the Society of St. Vincent De Paul are taking charge of purchasing and cooking the turkey dinner with help from volunteers and cooks at Sacred Heart Church. As well, numerous volunteers are needed to help with set up, serving, clean up, and everything in between, she added.

Children and teens will once again be able to visit Santa and receive a stocking filled with goodies and small gifts. There will be live music again, as local choirs and musicians donate their time and talent.

Karen Day graciously organizes the making of the stockings and always makes sure we have enough to fill for the children and teens. Local businesses, community organizations, and individuals donate items for filling the stockings.

The only way we are able to make this dinner possible is with our dedicated volunteers and donations from the general public. The cost to sponsor an individual meal is $11, or $44 to sponsor a family of four.

The Child Development Centre also provides free transportation to and from the dinner for those in need within the city limits.

The dinner was originally started by chef Walter Brunner and a group of businesswomen who held the event in the banquet room at the Williams Inn. From there it moved to the Fraser Inn for a few years and then found a long-term home at the Overlander Convention Centre where staff cooked the meals and volunteers helped with the serving, collecting donations and gifts for the children.

Read More: VIDEO: Yuletide Dinner serves more than 500 guests in Williams Lake

The event was moved to the Sacred Heart Hall with the idea of involving more of the community and making it easier for people who live downtown to walk to the dinner, Riplinger said.

“It is an event the community loves,” Riplinger said, recounting some of the special ways in which the Yuletide Dinner has brought families together over the years. “We have people lining up an hour before the doors open; they look forward to it so much.”

In some cases, she said the dinner has allowed extended families from different circumstances to share a Christmas meal together, which they might not otherwise be able to afford. Some years, people new to the community or who just happened to be alone during the holiday season came to the dinner and enjoy themselves so much that they end up donating or volunteering to it in the following years.

Read More: Christmas Wish Breakfast helps bring presents to all children

Working at the CDC she noted that she often sees the financial strain that having a child with special needs places on a family. The extra cost of travel for assessment and treatment with specialists in larger communities can really be a burden. The Yuletide Dinner is a great place for them to come enjoy the season, without the financial worry.

“There are some really special stories that happen around the Yuletide Dinner,” Riplinger said. “It’s always an amazing event.”

If you have any questions, if you require transportation, or if you would like to donate, please call the Child Development Centre at 250-392-4481.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@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

Local hunters pose with 198 pounds of goose meat after a 12-day trip to Chilanko Forks. Ken Rife accounted for nine of the 21 birds shot. Left to right: Sid Pigeon, Rife, Bill Margetts, Claude Huston, Geoff Place and Gary Hutchinson. (Williams Lake Tribune archives Nov. 2, 1960)
From our Archives: Gone Geese

A photograph from the 1960 edition of the Williams Lake Tribune

On Friday, Oct. 16, Vivian and Dan Simmons, left, creators of the Save the Cow Moose Sign Project resulting in a new mural, posed for a photograph with some of the funders who made the mural possible including Joe O’Neill and Joanne Cooke, West Fraser Truckers Association, Dariene Andros, Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Mayor Walt Cobb, City of Williams Lake, Kane Fraser, artists Dwayne Davis and Steven Davis-Gosling and City Coun. Scott Nelson. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cow calf moose mural looms large in Williams Lake

Donations made the mural possible

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read