An idea, sparked by a conversation between Andy Shadrack and Patrick Steiner of the Food Hub, was to hold a free community dinner at Christmas for those who were alone, seniors, low-income and strangers. This proposal, shared amongst a number of locals, was the beginning of the Community Cares Network.
Requests for funding, donations, set-up crew, decorations, andentertainment, along with the support from the Legion and the Legion Ladies food preparation team, was generously forthcoming.
The enthusiasm and co-operation of so many people who came forward toparticipate in this venture made the first Community Dinner and Celebration come to fruition on December 20th at the Kaslo Legion. The JVH Kindergarten and Grade 1 classcreated and delivered Christmas tree decorations, and the hall was festively decorated by another team from Kaslo Senior Citizens’ Association of BC, Branch #81 .The buffet meal, served to over 192 people, provided a full course Christmas dinner with a wide assortment of desserts. Senior students from JVH assisted with the serving, and their participation in clean-up, was greatly appreciated.
Mrs. Santa Claus mingled with the crowd offering mandarin oranges, candy canes and 3-D printed Christmas decorations and toys. Glen Stewart offered a prayer of Thanksgiving for all the blessings of Christmas, and everyone enjoyed the musical entertainment provided by the Moon Family Band and The Celtic Kitchen Party.
The bus transported a few of the Victorian Hospital Care residents to enjoy the food, and transportation was provided for a number of others individuals. Several meals were delivered to shut-in residents as well.
There were two lucky winners of door prizes, which included a Spa Day Pass for 2 from The Sentinel, and a cord of firewood from theKaslo and District Community Forest Society.
The evening was deemed a resounding success, based on comments from both diners and volunteers. The event was a true demonstration of the spirit of Christmas shared amongst all. The many donations will be recognized with a personal thank you.
The Community Cares Network has been firmly established and hopes to take on some other worthwhile ventures in the future, with the approximately $600 received above the costs of the event to be donated to the Kaslo Food Hub for possibly another community meal in the spring.