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Christmas spirit to be found at Community Christmas Dinner

The Amherst Community Christmas Dinner Committee gathered for a meeting at the Old Warehouse Café in Amherst last week. The committee is: (clockwise, from left) Will Rodd, Nancy Walsh, Rob Roy, Betsy Prager, Mike Stiles, Cathy Shewfelt, Leslie Gratton, and Shelly Hallman. The free turkey dinner is served Christmas day from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bridge Workshop located at 16 Station Street in Amherst.
The Amherst Community Christmas Dinner Committee gathered for a meeting at the Old Warehouse Café in Amherst last week. The committee is: (clockwise, from left) Will Rodd, Nancy Walsh, Rob Roy, Betsy Prager, Mike Stiles, Cathy Shewfelt, Leslie Gratton, and Shelly Hallman. The free turkey dinner is served Christmas day from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bridge Workshop located at 16 Station Street in Amherst.

Will be the last Community Christmas Dinner unless new people step up to take over

AMHERST – Frozen turkeys will soon be put in the oven and cooked up for the 11th annual Amherst Community Christmas Dinner.

“I have a whole bunch of turkeys in my freezer screaming to come out and get thawed,” said Nancy Walsh, owner and operator of the Old Warehouse Café in Amherst.

Walsh is preparing the meals for this year’s community Christmas dinner, and this is her first year on the committee.

“I was asked to jump on the boat and I accepted.”
The Christmas dinner is served Christmas Day from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bridge Workshop in Amherst, which is located at 16 Station Street.

“Everybody is welcome to enjoy a free dinner and celebrate the season,” said committee member Betsy Prager. “We welcome everybody – families, singles, seniors, and all ages.”

As in past years they serve about 250 people, and they will cook enough turkey dinners for all who come out for the festive dinner.

“You always feel the spirit of the season. It’s a real community experience,” said committee member Shelly Hallman.

In past years they accepted donations to put towards the following year’s dinner, but this may be the last Community Christmas Dinner, so they will not be accepting donations this year.

“A number of our member have had health issues so we’re hoping somebody will step up and keep it going,” said Prager.

She says organizing the dinner has been a wonderful experience for the entire committee.

“The community has gotten behind this project and supported us and been so generous,” said Prager. “People have enjoyed it and we’ve enjoyed it, and the volunteers have enjoyed it. It’s become a real Christmas tradition.”

The committee says that anybody interested in organizing next year’s dinner should attend this year’s dinner to see how the dinner is organized.

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