Servers dish out Christmas dinner.

Courtenay community gives back at Christmas

A free turkey dinner for approximately 200 guests

Janice Hayward

Special to the Record

At noon on Christmas Day, a free turkey dinner was served to approximately 200 guests at the Florence Filberg Centre.

It is a tradition that Earl Naswell began 32 years ago and it is still going strong under the direction of Rob James. Families and individuals who cannot afford Christmas dinner or who are alone for Christmas benefit from the Comox Valley’s generosity.

Chef Dale Patterson and his helpers prepared 24 turkeys, eight hams, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Dinner also included tea, coffee, juice, and donated desserts.

Guests were greeted at the door, seated at the festively decorated tables, and served by volunteers. Including second servings and take-out (for those physically not able to come), close to 350 meals were provided.

A Tibetan prayer by Geshe YongDong, founder of the Tibetan Bon Buddhist Centre, preceded dinner, and for the children Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand to present gifts.

“There is hope in the world for peace.  If we can get together at this level we can do anything,” said one gentleman enjoying Christmas dinner.

James, the current organizer, said that all this could not happen without the generous donations from the more than 40 businesses and individuals who donated money and food, and the time volunteers donated to cook, set up, serve and clean up.

Rod Volk volunteers because he cares.

“Everybody deserves something,” he said.


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