Because of the generosity of the community, on Christmas Day, more than 100 people who would have otherwise been alone, were able to enjoy hospitality, friendship and fellowship along with a traditional holiday meal at Fort Qu’Appelle’s Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church. “The support of the community has been overwhelming,” said Co-chair, Gwenda Watson. “The business community, organizations, families and individuals have rallied to provide funding and food for this celebration.” “We are also grateful to the many volunteers who donated their time, skills, labour and enthusiasm to make this celebration successful. They brought with them the true spirit of the season – caring and sharing with joy and goodwill,” added Co-Chair, Lynn Minja. This year young volunteers, No and Koh Sinclair, Rosa Huestis and Joshua Jang, volunteered their musical talents to provide entertainment. Several door prizes were also drawn for and given to those who were present. After the meal guests were able to take home left-over food. As well, everyone went home with a small gift bag. Served in the church hall, guests arrived at noon to share in the celebration. However, weeks before volunteers, led by Watson and Minja, organized publicity, found sponsors, gathered donations, and prepared gift bags. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning found crews of volunteers peeling potatoes, roasting turkeys, setting up tables, preparing the meal and serving the main and dessert courses. Other crews cleaned, tidied and restored the church to its normal state. Through the combined efforts of many, Christmas Day was brighter and happier for many of the members of the community and surrounding area. In 2014 the Community Christmas Dinner was held in the Anglican Church hall in Fort Qu’Appelle. After consultation with the Parish Council of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, Fort Qu’Appelle, our Steering Committee was invited to use the facilities at OLS for the Community Christmas Dinner in 2015. It is the vision of the Steering Committee that the Community Dinner - Christmas Day be held at various venues in Fort Qu’Appelle.
The contributors and volunteers who helped to make this Xmas Day Dinner a reality come from all faith backgrounds. And it is gratifying to see ecumenism in action. This is an example of HOPE in what can be a cold world.