Countdown to Christmas begins

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by Claire Allison

The countdown is on to Timaru’s Community Christmas dinner.

With exactly two months to go until the big day, the organising committee is already well into planning for the event, which caters for more than 200 people each year.

Chef Sam Pierce, who stepped into the kitchen at last year’s dinner, has signed up for another year, and bookings are now open for the community event.

Committee member Melissa Brennan is putting the call out for volunteers to help set up on Christmas Eve, and help out on the day as servers and clean-up crew.

“And, if you’ve previously been a volunteer, we’re asking you to let us know if you’re going to be available again.”

Santa has confirmed his attendance, and every child who attends will receive a Christmas gift. Volunteers will also provide transport to and from the Caroline Bay Hall if required.

Committee members have been fundraising during the year – making and selling cheese rolls and catering at events – in order to build up inventory for the event, buying bain-maries, serving platters and salt and pepper sets, to reduce hire costs for the day.

Committee member Wendy Joy said everyone was welcome to attend the dinner, no matter what their circumstances.

“Everyone is welcome. It’s children and wheelchair-friendly, there’s no judgement.

“My first one was last year, and what I noticed was the real Christmas feel to it – it’s not just a meal. We’ve got Christmas crackers, the tables are decorated. It’s actually the whole Christmas package.”

People wishing to volunteer, confirm their availability to volunteer, or book to attend the dinner can contact Ms Brennan on 0204-007-3351. The committee has a Facebook page, Timaru Community Christmas Dinner 2018, and bookings can also be made by emailing timaru.ccd.bookings@gmail.com