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Fort Macleod residents gather for annual Community Christmas Dinner

christmas dinner

Volunteers served 500 turkey dinners on Saturday.

face painting

Lisa Lennon painted designs on the face of children at the Community Christmas Dinner.

People had their photos taken with Santa Claus.

People had their photos taken with Santa Claus.

Brian Reach and his fellow Masons were concerned Saturday that no one would accept their invitation for a free Christmas dinner.
They needn’t have worried.
A record 500 turkey dinners with all the trimmings were served Saturday during the annual Community Christmas Dinner at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
“This is truly a community event,” Mason Dave Gregory said, referring to the many sponsors and volunteers.
Alberta Lodge No. 3 took over organization of the Community Christmas Dinner two years ago from Synergy Land Services, which ran it for three years.
“It was an attempt with this dinner to bring the community together to meet and greet one another at this very social time of the year and perhaps renew some old friendships,” Gregory said. “Hopefully that has worked tonight.”
Bev and Henry Hagen organized the kitchen for the Masons and oversaw the cooking of 128 kilograms of turkey, 200 pounds of potatoes and 80 pounds of vegetables.
They also used 60 loaves of bread for stuffing, prepared 15 gallons of gravy and served 45 dozen dinner buns.
Bev Hagen praised Hansen’s Family Foods who loaned their ovens to cook the turkeys.
“This doesn’t happen without them,” Hagen said.
Santa Claus was on hand throughout the dinner to pose for photos and listen to Christmas wish lists from young and old.
Members of Windy Rafters Barn Dance entertained with a selection of dances, involving members of the audience for some.
Children made crafts in one corner and had their faces painted in spectacular designs by Lisa Lennon.
People attending the dinner turned in donations of non-perishable food items, cash and toys for the Fort Macleod food bank operated by The Salvation Army.
Last year the Masons colleted more than 900 pounds of non-perishable food items, numerous toys as well as a cash donation of more than $2,200.

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