The Christmas Day Community Dinner was a full-house, with people from all over the municipality enjoying a great meal, good company, and lots of socialising. Over the years, first at Leslie Hall, and recently at St. John’s United Church on Prescott Street, these Christmas Day events have brought together those who might otherwise have been alone on that day, those who wanted to meet and mix to mark the festivities, as well as everyone who just felt like having a good time.
What makes these Dinners so special is that they are a real community effort: the food is donated, cooked by volunteers, the hall is prepared and decorated by volunteers, the meal is served, the dishes cleared away and washed, and the hall put back in good order – all by volunteers.
There is no charge whatsoever, and meals can even be taken away, with many house-bound friends and neighbours receiving a visit (from volunteers) delivering a hot Christmas Day meal with all the trimmings. Really, is there any better expression of what our community is all about?
The combination of local residents, local business and local suppliers made for yet another successful Christmas Community Dinner, and, what is equally significant, no-one involved wanted their names mentioned in this article. They do it for the joy of it.
Nor is this just an event for the older segment of society. By no means. Those involved in both volunteering and in consuming came from every age bracket: a genuine community activity for all. Yes, this may come across as a bit of an exaggerated account, over-doing the positivity: but it honestly is not the case. They’re just the facts!
The Community Dinners will continue, we hope, for years to come. In part, this is because those who originally were at the centre of organising them have been able to pull back a little each year, and others have stepped up to take their place and carry on the tradition.
That’s North Grenville for you: long may it continue!