To not hold the traditional community Christmas dinner this year would be “too big of a disappointment,” said event organizer Sharon King.
It’s the 31st year volunteers are banding together to plate Christmas cheer, although this year’s event will be drive-thru due to COVID-19 concerns.
“This is my favorite thing I do every year,” King said.
Traditionally a sit-down dinner that draws 500 to 600 people, the event was canceled last year because of COVID-19. Hope’s Kitchen of the First United Methodist Church, one of the partners of the event, cooked 250 meals to serve those in need.
“I’m amazed by how many people donate their time on Christmas every year,” King said.
The annual spread costs about $5,000, King said.
While it typically takes fundraising, enough money was raised in 2019 to fund the event for two years.
This year, the event is back, with a fully staffed crew of volunteers led by King, Hope’s Kitchen, and Sharehouse, which began organizing the event in 2019.
“We make a great team,” King said.
The partnership with Sharehouse brought an emphasis on using local ingredients in the annual meal.
Expect fresh salads and local potatoes, flour and baked rolls along with the baked ham and dessert, all served in compostable packaging.
The meals are available for pickup Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will be delivered to the homebound.
As always, event organizers accept donations of pies, but only those that don’t require refrigeration. To drop them off, visit the Montezuma County Annex between 9 a.m. and noon Friday, King said.
Sometimes, if there is an abundance of desserts, entire pies are included in meals. She said some families end up baking as many as 15.
The more the better, she said.
“Nothing is going to make people more happy than an entire homemade pie on Christmas,” she said.
To pick up a meal, enter the annex from Elm Street, and exit on Chestnut Street, King said.
Parking lot attendants will be present to direct traffic, she said.
While King is sure there will be some mistakes in navigating the event drive-thru style for the first time, she’s thrilled to be instilling the Cortez area with Christmas warmth and joy.
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