SEASON’S GREETINGS: 24th Yuletide Dinner, takeout style

Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association Timberwolves U18 boys helped deliver dinners, stockings and teddy bears to vehicles as they arrived for the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association Timberwolves U18 boys helped deliver dinners, stockings and teddy bears to vehicles as they arrived for the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson, right, hands meals to … (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson, right, hands meals to … (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Society of St. Vincent de Paul president Lynn Paterson, left, with society volunteers and members of the Williams Lake Girl Guides helped prepare the food for the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Society of St. Vincent de Paul president Lynn Paterson, left, with society volunteers and members of the Williams Lake Girl Guides helped prepare the food for the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Timberwolves were on hand to deliver meals and treats during the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Williams Lake Timberwolves were on hand to deliver meals and treats during the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre’s Ruth Shaw, left, and Tracy Beaton with some of the teddy bears they were handing out during the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre’s Ruth Shaw, left, and Tracy Beaton with some of the teddy bears they were handing out during the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A drive-through version of the 24th Annual Yuletide Dinner held in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Catholic School on Wednesday, Dec. 8, was a success.

Thanks to the efforts of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, with generous donations from the community, 300 takeout turkey dinners were enjoyed by local citizens.

Volunteers from Williams Lake Minor Hockey and Girl Guides were on hand to assist, as well as MLA Lorne Doerkson.

Ruth Shaw of the CCCDC said out of the 300 meals, 100 were delivered to shut-ins before the drive-thru started at 4:30 p.m.

“We had no idea how it was going to go,” she said just before the last six meals were picked up.

“Last year we tried to do this, but it got cancelled because we couldn’t make it happen. This year we were pretty determined.”

Nobody is turned away, she added.

Shaw said originally the Yuletide Dinner was held at the CCCDC and the staff peeled the potatoes, made stuffing and cooked turkeys.

“We’d serve the dinner in the gym,” she recalled, adding when it got too big the dinner moved to the Elks Hall, later to Cariboo Steak House, where Boston Pizza is now, and then to the Overlander.

Eventually the CCCDC partnered with St. Vincent de Paul and the dinner moved to Sacred Heart School, although it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

“It is wonderful when we can have it so that people can come in and sit down,” Shaw said. “We always have lots and lots of volunteers and some music.”

Shaw and Tracy Beaton, administrative assistant with the CCCDC, were handing out teddy bears donated by the BC Liquor Store.

“They have donated them over the last few years and we had a bit of a collection so we wanted to make sure they were given out,” Beaton said, noting some of the people who arrived to pick up a meal actually donated money as well.

Once the last dinner was handed out, the packaging crew and the cooks cleaned up.

St. Vincent de Paul Society president Lynn Paterson, who organized the food, said they started cooking on Monday.

“We cooked 20 turkeys on Monday and eight on Tuesday,” she said.

Rene Leclerc said he picked up 200 pounds of potatoes from Bill Lloyd of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society for the dinner. Volunteers peeled the potatoes on Tuesday and cooked them Wednesday.

Aside from turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy, the meals included cooked vegetables, cranberry sauce and a bun with butter, as well as oranges and Christmas stockings for the children containing treats.

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