Community spirit alive and well

This Christmas will be one to remember

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2013
Christmas dinner
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

'TIS THE SEASON: Months of hard work will pay off tomorrow for Vicki O’Brien , left, and Rebecca Smith who are two of three people organising this year’s community Christmas dinner.

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Hundreds of bread rolls, dozens of pavlovas and many litres of gravy and ice cream will help make this year's community Christmas dinner a success.

Donations of food have been given to the cause in a bid to ensure this Christmas is one people will remember.

A team of three women - Rebecca Smith, Vicki O'Brien and Kate Wehi- have been working hard behind the scenes to make this year's event happen after last year's organisers stepped down.

So far they have 350 bread rolls, 45 pavlovas, 80 chickens, four hams, 60 kilograms of potatoes, 10 pumpkins, 50 litres of gravy and 20 litres of ice cream, among other items. They have also received many offers from people wanting to help tomorrow, and encourage anyone else wanting to assist to contact them.

Ms O'Brien said two callers had heart-warming stories about why they wanted to assist.

"One lady said ‘it's one thing to sit at home on your own all year, but you don't want to do that on Christmas Day too'.

"The other was a business lady in town . . . she was just going to give Christmas a miss because her kids were away."

However, after reading an earlier article about the dinner she decided to join in the festive fun at the Caroline Bay Hall, Ms O'Brien said.

Further financial donations would be welcomed by the group to offset continuing costs.

"We're still running a bit short of money so if people would like to donate, donations would be gratefully accepted," Miss Smith said. "The thing is we've had to buy the food instead of [waiting for] donations so we knew we'd have enough."

The event will be hosted at the Caroline Bay Hall from noon until 2pm, following a Christmas carol service at the bay at 11am.

People at the dinner will also be able to write down the name of an "angel" who they will not be able to celebrate Christmas with this year. The notes will be hung from one of several Christmas trees.

Miss Smith said her desire to get behind this year's dinner was for various reasons.

"It's to do with my own faith. [It is also because] God cares for the people of Timaru and the dinner is one way we can help show that love to our community."

People can book a table and transport to and from the venue ahead of the dinner by emailing timaru.christmas.dinner2013@gmail.com or phoning Vicki on 688 5424 and leaving a message.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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