NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
The 26 annual Norman Christmas Day Community Dinner hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Norman High School Commons cafeteria received overwhelming support from volunteers, banks, businesses and private donations again this year.
Weather always has an effect on attendance, as it did on Christmas Day in 1987 and 2009, and this year was no different. However, like the post office, the Christmas dinner never closes for hail, sleet, snow, blizzards or even tornados. The doors are always open to serve our community at Christmastime, even if only a handful of people show up.
While we served around 700 fewer guests through the serving lines this year, we were pleased that those who stayed away did so because they did not want to brave the icy roads and sidewalks. No need for broken limbs. Still, we had a good number come to the dinner (590 through the serving lines). Also there were 300 home deliveries and 400 carryout meals.
The community knows by now that this dinner is free and is for everyone — those who may need a place to eat or who just want to share the Christmas spirit with someone. Our motto, “No one should be alone on Christmas Day,” has indeed reached our citizens. We were especially pleased to have a large number of children at the dinner.
To witness the spirit of giving from this community (rain or shine) is immensely rewarding, especially when our guests know that the people in this community really care about them. The highlight of the day has to be the smiling faces of those receiving toys, gloves, scarves, hats, toiletries, candy and other gifts for children, teens and adults.
Assistance and financial support from the banks, businesses and many individuals are greatly appreciated and will be recognized later in a special way in The Transcript. However, I would like to thank those anonymous donors and those who contributed toys, scarves, gloves, candy and flowers.
A special thanks to the Christmas Store, DHS, Secret Santa, Lohmann’s Good Things, Sooner Mall, La Baguette, Sweets & Spurs, firefighters and the OEC Foundation for its grant. Also, many thanks to the folks at St. Michael’s, the community volunteers, Mayor Cindy Rosenthal, honorary chairperson, and The Norman Transcript and The Daily Oklahoma for covering the event.
Happy New Year.
Director of the Norman Christmas Day Community Dinner