In this December 2010 photo, Santa Claus greets the children with a candy cane and a smile during Christmas Day’s sitting of the Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner held in the UCT Pavilion at the Keystone Centre. (FILE PHOTO)
Preparations are well underway for the 2012 Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner to be held Dec. 25 from noon to 6 p.m. in the Keystone Centre.
It takes a lot of food and a lot of help from volunteers to make the Brandon tradition a success year after year.
At least 130 turkeys, 700 pounds of ham, cases of vegetables and cranberry sauce, thousands of desserts and baked goods, and gallons of beverages are required to feed the thousands who partake in the Christmas dinner.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help with preparations in the days leading up to the dinner, as well as on Christmas Day, working at the dinner and making deliveries.
How to donate:
All donations are gratefully accepted. This year, there is a particular need for:
• New unwrapped toys (especially for children 10 and older)
• Wrapping paper, tape
• Cash donations
Drop off your donation at the main office at Upper City Square in the Keystone Centre, or call 204-728-7987 and one of the board members will pick up your donation. Monetary donations can also be mailed to Box 110, 100 1300 18th St., Brandon, R7A 6X7.
How to volunteer:
The Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner needs volunteers for a wide variety of tasks, including cooks, servers, delivery drivers, help with food preparation, and gift wrapping. You can volunteer to work at the dinner on Christmas Day or to help with the preparation in the week leading up to Christmas. To volunteer at the dinner or with preparations, call 204-728-7987.
Organizers are also looking for musicians to provide some entertainment for the guests. Call the office to book your time on stage.
About the Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner:
The Christmas season is often a very lonely time for people from all walks of life. Everyone is welcome to attend the Keystone Centre for a delicious hot meal, live entertainment, presents for the kids, fellowship and of course a visit with Santa Claus.
This tradition was started in 1985 by Rocky Addison, his family and a few close friends. The first dinner was attended by 30 people and was held in a small church on the corner of Eighth Street and Victoria Avenue that Addison owned.
It outgrew the capacity of the church and was moved to the Prairie Oasis Senior Centre.
The number of people attending the dinner increased to a point where the dinner had to be moved once again to a larger facility — the Keystone Centre.
Each Christmas, about 4,000 meals are served to those in attendance and to those who receive home deliveries.
For more information, visit christmasdinner.ca, log onto the dinner’s Facebook page, drop in at the office in the Keystone Centre, or call 204-728-7987.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 12, 2012