Maggie Rosario

Maggie Rosario

SLIDESHOW: Yuletide Dinner gathers community

Around 400 people came out of the frigid cold Wednesday to enjoy all the trimmings of a Christmas meal at the annual Yuletide Dinner.




Around 400 people came out of the frigid cold Wednesday to enjoy all the trimmings of a Christmas meal at the annual Yuletide Dinner.

A joint effort by the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the event was held at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

An hour into the event, SSVP’s Darla Robson, wearing reindeer antlers and an equally cheery grin, said it had been steady since they opened the doors at 4 p.m.

After checking with chef Brice O’Neill who was busy in the kitchen, Robson said they cooked 30 turkeys, 12 hams, 300 pounds of potatoes, two cases of stuffing, 70 pounds of mixed vegetables and 120 ladles of gravy.

Vanessa Riplinger, operations manager at the CCDC, said it was the commitment of many people and organizations, along with the wonderful people they served dinner to that truly made it a community event.

The Boys and Girls Club provided a van for rides which were crucial because it was so cold out and the city’s faith community baked  all the desserts, while many local residents helped pay for the meals.

“Karen Day has made all the stockings by hand for the last few years and shows up to help Santa hand them out,” Riplinger said.

“It takes everybody in the community working together to make it a success. Nobody stands alone. If we were missing one piece it wouldn’t go. At Christmas and all through the year we work together to help each other,” she said. “That’s where our strengths lie here in Williams Lake.”