A Community Christmas

Jocelyn Turner
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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.

jturner@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Bridge Adult Service Centre Christmas, Amherst Community Christmas Dinner committee

Geographic location: Amherst Community

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Recent comments

  • nancy pelley
    December 27, 2012 - 18:04

    Great job! Thank you to all of you who gave the sacrifice of your time to serve others this Christmas. My family had the pleasure of serving the community in this way as well as enjoying the meal with the Community when we lived in Amherst. Nice to see that the Community Christmas Dinner continues to be a great part of a great community!

  • Jo-Ann Livingstone
    December 26, 2012 - 17:06

    It is so wonderful to know that there are still generous people alive that think of someone else other than themselves. Good going folks and hope you have a Blessed New Year. It would be great if every community could do the same.

  • Beverly Fynn
    December 26, 2012 - 03:01

    I want to thank everybody for making this Christmas dinner a wonderful one. This is how envisaged the community coming together to celebrate Christmas6 years ago when I started it. Thank God that I didn't give up and continued year after year. Let me take this opportunity to thank the volunteers for their help, the committee for their hard work and also, Betsy Prager and Will Rodd for letting the committee use their house for the meetings and their leadership. Now that the Community Christmas Dinner is part of this community events, I can proudly say it is my LEGACY I leave with you. On behalf of the Fynn family, I say a big thank you for having us. It's been quite a journey and a wonderful experience. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • Carol Canning
    December 25, 2012 - 20:50

    Betsy Prager and her volunteers are to be commended for their generosity of spirit by taking Christmas Day away from family to make it a Merry Christmas indeed for so many who are not so fortunate to perhaps have family around with whom to enjoy this wonderful day. As I have said before, there are in our town, "ANGELS AMONG US". God Bless each and everyone who went out of their way to make this a Special day!