© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Shirley Patriquin (from left) and Gloria Dickinson were given a big holiday hug from their friend Jean Surette while enjoying their dessert during the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner at the Bridge Adult Service Centre on Christmas Day.
AMHERST –Smells of home-cooked turkey, fresh pumpkin pie and creamy mashed potatoes were seeping through the doors of the Bridge Adult Service Centre Christmas day during the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner. Dozens of people gathered at the workshop to enjoy a home-cooked meal they didn’t have to make themselves.
“It’s just wonderful,” said Gloria Dickinson, who came out to the dinner for the first time with her good friend Shirley Patriquin.
Dickinson was not the only first timer to the dinner. Anne Reid brought her husband to the dinner and met up with a few friends as they sat down to enjoy their turkey.
“I love the people and the togetherness,” she said. “It’s absolutely fantastic and the food is out of this world. (The food) definitely tastes better when you don’t have to cook it yourself.”
Betsy Prager, one of the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner committee members, said she couldn’t have been happier with the turnout. She admitted to even have cried a few happy tears.
“I’m so grateful for everything,” she said. “It’s just amazing how the community has come together.”
Prager said it took the hard work of 45 volunteers to put together this year’s meal.
“I felt like a fairy god mother,” she said. “On Saturday, when we were decorating, I said what needed to be done and whoosh, it was done and everything looks beautiful. I cried tears of joy.”
The meal was open to anyone who wanted to enjoy the company of their neighbours during the holidays. The volunteers were also collecting donations for next year’s meal. All the food, drinks and desserts were available through the help of over 50 community and area businesses.