Creemore Community Christmas Dinner moves to bigger venue

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A CD of Christmas music performed by area musicians is in the works.

The recording is a project of those who help pull together the annual Creemore Community Christmas Dinner.

For several years the Christmas Day dinner has included live entertainment by the Wipper family and other performers. This year, the Wippers brought those performers into their studio, just outside of Creemore, for a recording session. All profits from the sale of the CDs, entitled Christmas in the Valley, will go to support the dinner.

David and Hazel Wipper are joined by their daughter Karina, Ken Robertson, Tim Armour, Jim Fraser from the Beinn Gorm Highlanders, John Boswell, Mike McDonald, Jeff Williams, Neil and Dawn Van Alstine.

Students at Hummingbird Montessori, who study with Hazel Wipper, also sing on a few tracks.

Diane McKay, the coordinator of the community dinner, said it is hoped the CDs will be ready by the Christmas in the Valley celebrations Dec. 5 and 6.

The dinner, now in its 13th year, is free and open to everyone.

McKay said it has grown from 20 people to more than 150, so for the first time this year, the dinner is moving to the Creemore Legion.

She said it all started as a community effort to provide a place at the Christmas dinner table for those who had nowhere else to go.

“It’s an opportunity for everyone in Creemore to share in the experience of the traditional Christmas dinner,” said McKay.

“There are lots of reasons why people are alone at Christmas. Their children may be away at school or there has been a break up in the family.”

The event has evolved over the years to provide hot meals to those who can’t get out of the house, and their caregivers.

Volunteers do prep work on Christmas Eve day and the cooks, coordinated by head cook Jim Henderson, do the rest on Christmas day in order to serve a dinner of turkey and ham with all the fixings.

In past years, gifts have been given out to everyone in attendance.

McKay said the committee this year decided that because of the increase in attendees and because some people have indicated they don’t really need gifts they will be reserved for the people in nursing homes, children and those in need.

Organizers rely on donations for the food and gifts. She said many local farmers and businesses donate and Village Builders is the corporate sponsor.

McKay and her team want to make sure that everyone has a place to be on Christmas.

“We want to let them know the community is thinking about them,” she said.

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to reserve a seat by Dec. 23. Admission is a donation of a non-perishable food item for the food bank.

It takes about 50 volunteers to make the event happen and McKay notes, the volunteers are well fed.

People are welcome to donate their unused turkey bucks at the checkout at the Creemore Foodland.

McKay gets a lot of help from the event’s organizing committee including her husband Brian, Jim Henderson, Tim Armour, Dianne Kelly, Kathy Meeser, Ken Robertson, Natalie Seltzer, Ken Thornton, Gertrude King and David, Hazel and Karina Wipper.

For more information, to volunteer, donate and to reserve a spot at the dinner, call the McKays at 705-466-3126 or e-mail [email protected]

Monetary donations are accepted at the TD Bank trust account 0330 5202657.

Christmas in the Valley CDs will be sold for $15 each.

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