Christmas Eve dinner

Organizers met Sunday to begin preparations for the free Christmas Eve dinner to be served Tuesday, Dec. 24. Representatives of the organizations assisting with the meal are pictured. Pictured from left, front row, are Jennifer Ireland, Diane Evans, Brenda Dunlap, Megan Bloom and Kim Swatsworth; back row, Sam Ireland, Dave Evans, Dave Dunlap, Josh Bloom, Todd Swatsworth, Chuck Bloom and Steve Livergood.

For 20 years, through the willingness of members of a number of local organizations, businesses and individuals to give of their time and talents, funding and food, a free Christmas Eve community meal continues to be available for those who need a hot meal and those desiring fellowship.

The meal will be served Tuesday, Dec. 24, at The After Dark, 150 Industrial Park Rd., Clearfield. Meals will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Deliveries will be made from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Clearfield, Curwensville and Woodland areas. Meals may be reserved beginning Sunday, Dec. 1, through Monday, Dec. 23.

To make reservations, call 765-9846. Those calling should leave the following information: the number of dinners needed, the address where the meals are to be delivered and a return call telephone number in the event those delivering the meal have questions about the address.

The organizations spearheading the free meal project are the Chinklacamoose Chapter of Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education, the Clearfield Cycle Club, Clearfield Sons of the American Legion, American Legion John Lewis Shade Post No. 6 and its auxiliary, Clearfield Legion Riders, Veterans of Foreign Wars F. Michael Sicks Post No. 1785 and its auxiliary, The After Dark and Glen Richey Fire Co. and its auxiliary. Many local businesses and organizations help by donating funds or food for the meal.

The committee said dinner is provided as a helping hand to those who have experienced personal setbacks through the loss of a job, a health issue or other personal tragedy or for those who are looking for an opportunity to enjoy a delicious dinner and fellowship in an welcoming setting.

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Last year more than 900 meals were served. The centerpiece of those holiday dinners were 43 turkeys and 30 hams that were donated by local businesses. Numerous volunteers cooked the meat and also prepared plenty of side dishes to round out the meals. Others helped by serving food, assisting diners and washing dishes.

This year Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School’s culinary department will be assisting organizers by making stuffing balls for the meal. Glen Richey Fire Co. will be helping delivery family dinners with Santa Claus aboard the fire trucks.

In addition, donations helped to provide Christmas gifts and meals for 71 children and 26 families and volunteers help there by purchasing gifts, wrapping them, sorting them and getting them packed up for Santa Claus to deliver. Volunteer Diane Evans said, “Organizers pick a number of local less-fortunate families to provide presents for. Santa delivers them riding in a fire truck.”

“We’re here for the kids and those who need help. That’s what this is all about, helping anyone who needs it during the holiday season,” Committee Member Steve Livergood said.