Volunteers make Christmas Day dinner happen

Thirty volunteers spent part of their Christmas Day serving others as they performed numerous tasks to help put on another successful dinner at the Imperial Eagles Club.
    Coordinated each year by the Southwest Nebraska Ministerial Association, Dode Johnson served as overall chair for Monday’s Christmas Day dinner that served 263 people.
    “It couldn’t have been done without the volunteers. It takes a community to bring this all together,” she said.
    Preparations started weeks earlier, as churches were notified of the food they were asked to provide, including the pies, salads, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, dressing and more to complement the turkey and ham main entrees.
    Items had to be ordered and time slots for volunteers set.
    Then, Knights of Columbus members at St. Patrick Catholic Church gathered Sunday morning to cook and debone eight, 20-pound turkeys. The men then transferred the meat to the Eagles Club’s coolers. Volunteers warmed it for serving the next day.
    Meanwhile, staff at Super Foods were also smoking several turkeys, providing another entree option.
    “We were beyond blessed with volunteers,” Johnson said.
    On Monday, serving started at 11 a.m., and Johnson said people arrived in a steady flow. Traffic was spread out enough no one had to wait for a table, she noted.

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