Volunteers and committee members will be very busy the next two weeks helping prepare the 2011 community Christmas dinner at the Bridge Workshop. Some of those busy people are Terrie Brundage, (left) Bruce Cucu, Bev Fynn, Betsey Prager, Tamara Ashe and Will Rodd. DAVE MATHIESON – AMHERST DAILY NEWS
AMHERST – The Grinch will not be welcome at the Bridge workshop on Christmas day, because that’s where the community will be gathering for Christmas dinner.
“It’s a community Christmas dinner, so we welcome everyone,” Christmas dinner committee member, Betsey Prager, said, “It’s a good place to be on Christmas day. There’s music and the food’s really good. It’s amazing.”
The community Christmas dinner was founded five years ago by Bev Fynn and has grown ever since.
Last year they cooked eight 25-pound turkeys, plus stuffing, vegetables and all the other fixings that help make turkey dinner one of the most festive meals of the year.
“Things happen by word of mouth and it’s gotten bigger and bigger,” Prager said. “Last year we served almost 200 meals. We counted 136 people through the door, we had 25 volunteers, we had 10 people in the band, and whatever was left we took over to the police, the ambulance and the hospital staff who were working that day.
“This year we’re hoping for 250 people,” Prager added. “Hopefully the weather will be good.”
Christmas is on a Sunday this year.
“Geoff Bembridge from Bambino's Pizzeria lets us cook up the turkey’s in his pizza oven,” Prager said. “We’ll put them in Friday night at midnight and they’ll cook through the night, and then on Saturday morning we’ll take them out of the oven and carve them up and have the meals ready for Christmas day.”
The fixings are cooked at the Bridge Workshop.
“It’s a fabulous facility. They have a well equipped kitchen and they allow us access, so we cook up the stuffing, the vegetables and all the fixings there,” Prager said. “We get the turkeys at a good price and the rest of the food and beverages are donated by various businesses and organizations from throughout Cumberland County.”
The dinner is from 2-4 p.m., at the Bridge Workshop, which is located on Station Street.
A donation at the door isn’t necessary but is welcome.
“Some people can donate and others can’t but we welcome donations,” Prager said. “The money we made last year covered a lot of our costs this year, so any money raised goes into the bank for next year’s Christmas dinner.
“This dinner is for anybody who wants to come out and have a good cooked meal and be together with other people at Christmas,” Prager added, “It’s a good place to be on Christmas day.”