Celebrating Christmas with friends

Dec 22, 2022 | Communities, Front Page

The dining room at the Elks Lodge will be filled with happy voices on Christmas Day as folks enjoy a delicious dinner.

operation provider christmas day dinner 2
Santa will be at the dinner, of course. He often heads outside the Elks Lodge to wave to passing motorists, who honk excitedly at seeing him.

(File photos by Mary-Justine Lanyon)

Celebrating Christmas with friends

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

For many years, Holland Lowe, executive director of Operation Provider, has put on a truly magnificent dinner on Christmas Day with the help of a flock of elf volunteers.
The pandemic, of course, made that dinner impossible but it will be back this year.
On Dec. 25, folks are invited to come to the Elks Lodge in Rimforest and enjoy a sumptuous meal while visiting with neighbors and friends.
Lowe and her volunteers at Operation Provider have been signing up people who wish to attend. For the children in those families, bags of toys will ready for them to take home after enjoying their dinners.
But folks don’t have to sign up in advance – everyone is welcome. Volunteers will sign up walk-ins, taking the ages and genders of the children. While they eat their Christmas meals, those volunteers will select gifts for the children from the many that have been donated to Operation Provider.
And who else will be at the dinner? Why, Santa of course! During his visit, he will greet the diners and talk with children of all ages.
Because the dinner has not been held for the past two years, Lowe is in need of volunteers: folks to prep and cook the food, folks to serve the food and, of course, folks to clean up after the dinner is over.
On Dec. 24, elves will descend upon the Elks Lodge starting at 9 a.m. to transform it into a Christmas wonderland – decorating a tree, setting the tables, continuing until the work is done. Then, on Dec. 25, other elves will greet the guests, seat them and take their dinner orders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to needing people to volunteer, Lowe could also use donations of hams, yams, stuffing, pies, cookies and other desserts.
To sign up as a volunteer, call or text (909) 375-0325.
More than one volunteer has been heard to exclaim that being at this Christmas Day dinner made their Christmas extra special!



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