Every single ingredient for the Salvation Army’s Christmas dinner has been donated by City Furniture, something Captains Ben and Isobel Lippers have never seen in the 16 years they’ve been with the SA.
“It’s amazing,” Isobel said while staff from City Furniture brought the food to the SA kitchen Monday. “This is the first time in all our years that one business has bought the entire dinner.”
Rami Pennu, who owns City Furniture along with her husband Jack Pennu, said they have also owned the store in Quesnel since 1992 and normally donate food for the Salvation Army dinner there.
“We’ve done this in Quesnel the last five or six years but someone else has stepped up to the plate this year,” Rami said.
Since opening the store in Williams Lake on Nov. 6, the Pennus have received a warm welcome, she added.
“When a community is so supportive, the way they are being, then we should be giving back and this is a good cause.”
The Lippers arrived to be the captains in Williams Lake in February 2013, so this is their second Christmas at the helm.
“We are planning on feeding 250 people,” Ben said of the Christmas day dinner which will begin at 11:30 a.m.
The hope is to get singles and people who are home alone coming out to enjoy each other’s company.
“I think people come, look around, and see other people who are in the same situation and realize they didn’t know that about them,” Ben said, adding last year many people ended up going home together to enjoy the rest of Christmas day, watching movies or playing games.
It’s nice for people to be able to make connections and important to host a dinner on Christmas day, Ben said.
“We will decorate the hall, invite people to sit, and our volunteers will serve them,” Ben noted, saying the dinner also draws people from the community inspired to volunteer who don’t normally help out at the SA.
Nodding toward the piano in the corner of the dining hall, Ben said often musicians show up as well to play for the guests.