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Masons need help with Christmas dinner

The Masons are having a few people over for dinner on Saturday, Dec. 14.
More than 500 people are expected to sit down for a free turkey dinner with all the trimmings in the annual Community Christmas Dinner.
“It’s just getting the community together as one,” Mason Brian Reach said of the reason for the free dinner. “Some people think it’s just about getting a meal to people who need it, but it’s not just that.”
“It’s about getting the community together, visiting, sharing stories at this time of year.”
Dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
The F.P. Walshe school band will perform, Santa Claus will appear for photos and to hear Christmas wishes, and there will be craft tables for the children.
The Masons also collect donations of food, money and toys for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper drive in Fort Macleod.
“They have committed to keep the funds and the food and toys in the community,” Reach said. “The Salvation Army is committed to keeping it all local.”
The Masons’ Community Christmas Dinner has become an important event in Fort Macleod.
“There are people who come out for the turkey dinner, and just to visit,” Reach said. “Everybody’s happy, everybody’s friendly. The kids are ecstatic to come in and go to a craft table and to see Santa Claus.”
Last year the Masons fed more than 550 people.
“Last year it was extremely well attended,” Reach said. “We’re expecting abut the same this year.”
Several organizations and businesses each year contribute the manpower and financial resources for the Christmas dinner.
Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services, Fort Macleod Fire Department, the RCMP and the Foothills Centre contribute volunteer help, and the Elks and Royal Purple provide the community hall.
Several businesses contribute financially and with manpower, and Masons come from Lethbridge, Pincher Creek and High River to assist.
The Fort Macleod Masons appreciate that support.
“Without those groups helping us out, we probably wouldn’t be doing it,” Reach said. “There’s lots of volunteers who come forward.”
About 25 volunteers are needed to serve dinner in each of two shifts, with one running from 3:45-5:30 p.m. and the second from 5:15-7 p.m.
A volunteer clean-up crew is also needed from 7-8 p.m.
The Masons could use some financial help this year to buy turkeys and the other food supplies.
“Sponsors are down right now,” Reach said.
To volunteer or contribute financially, contact Brian Reach at 403-634-2205, Ken Hann at 403-553-2470 or David Gregory at 403-553-3076.
You can also contact them by e-mail at reachbrian@shaw.ca, klhann@telus.net and gregorybd@telus.net.
“It’s coming together, slow but sure,” Reach said. “The guys are really working hard.”

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