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November 27, 2014: Christmas Dinner at the Carleton; Food, Fellowship, and Friends to Share.

November 27, 2014: Christmas Dinner at the Carleton;
Food, Fellowship, and Friends to Share.

By the Hintonburg Economic Development Committee.

With snow on the ground now, and Christmas less than a month away, holiday planning is in full swing throughout Kitchissippi.

The Carleton Tavern will be hosting its annual Christmas dinner on December 25 from 11am to 3pm. It will be held at the Carleton Tavern, 223 Armstrong at Parkdale, right next to the Parkdale Market.

For some of us, Christmas Day can be one of the loneliest days of the year. Being alone at Christmas, a time when everyone is supposed to be with family and loved ones, reinforces this sense of isolation. The Carleton Tavern owners (Sam, Simon and Billy) recognized this need, and fourteen years ago proposed a free meal for the community on Christmas Day.

The Hintonburg Economic Development Committee has partnered with the brothers on this wonderful idea. A core of volunteers comes back year after year, and many friendships have developed as a result. It has developed into a tradition both for those who come to eat, and those who come to serve. It is a joyous day with plenty of good food, live music, gifts, Santa and Mrs. Claus and everyone together.

Last year about 600 meals were served in the tavern; another 300 were take-out meals, and about 100 meals were delivered to those who could not come out.

At the end of the day, all remaining food was delivered by a team of volunteers to local rooming houses, a seniors’ building and the Family Shelter, to sustain many more people for several days after Christmas. No food ever goes to waste and most of it stays in this community.

We need the community’s help to be able to provide this day. We need donations of: turkey, ham, tortière and home-baked goodies. Turkeys should be dropped off at the Carleton one week before Christmas to allow time to thaw and cook the amount we need. Baking can be dropped off December 23 to 25.

We also need gifts (especially for men): gloves, hats, scarves, personal care items. We appreciate gift cards: Giant Tiger, coffee cards, certificates for food (Hintonburger, Pizza Pizza), phone cards, and movie passes. We need gifts for women, for children, youth and for pets. There are usually about 20 families with 85 to 100 children at the local family shelter at any given time. For some, this day makes a significant part of their Christmas. We also need donations of gift bags in the week before Christmas so that our gift coordinators can start to bring everything together on December 23.

Help make this a Christmas for everyone. Contact us if you know of someone who would like to come or have a meal delivered. We have volunteer drivers and always welcome more. As always, it’s the generous community spirit of Kitchissippi that makes the Carleton Tavern Christmas Dinner an annual success story.

For more information call Cheryl at 613-728-7582 or e-mail carletonxmasdinner@hotmail.ca or hedc@sympatico.ca .

Photo Caption: Area business people, artists, musicians and residents become servers, waiters, drivers and bus boys to make the Carleton Tavern Christmas Dinner their gift to the community. Photo by Tim Thibeault.

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