Weeks of planning and days of cooking led up to the one of the best community events of the year this week — the annual Yuletide Dinner.
More than 500 meals were served to those less fortunate or on their own this Christmas at Sacred Heart Hall Wednesday evening, a collaborative effort by the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and chef Brice O’Neill of New World Coffee and Tea House.
St. Vincent de Paul president Lynn Paterson said it’s the fourth year the Society has helped with the event, which saw 45 turkeys and 250 pounds of potatoes served as well as a variety of vegetables and desserts.
“The beautiful thing is that people come in and volunteer for a couple of hours and they’re so enthusiastic and so willing to give and don’t take anything in return and we have so many volunteers that pretty soon it all just gets all done,” Paterson said. “It’s not like it’s one person doing it. It’s a whole team working together and it’s a beautiful thing.”
Volunteers served guests, some of whom were lined up at the door at 3 p.m., their meals and cleared the tables while Santa was also on hand to give out stockings and teddy bears to make for a truly festive feel to the evening.
“We believe in serving the community. Our goal, our mission is to help those less fortunate than ourselves and this is a great opportunity, especially at Christmas, to help others and to give a little bit of ourselves to them. I think we are rewarded more than they are actually,” Paterson said.
“A big thank you to all of the volunteers who made this happen because with so many volunteers it just makes light work for everybody and it just pulls it all together, and everyone comes together with the right attitude, just wanting to help, especially at this time of year, and just spread the joy.”