Marshall Community Christmas Dinner begins at noon

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Volunteer leader Melanie Elfrink gets a hug from her daughter, Theresa, behind a table laden with cookies for the fourth annual Community Christmas Dinner. The dinner begins at noon today at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1801 S. Miami Ave. Everyone is invited to the free event. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

Here's an opportunity for the community: Eat well and help the hungry at the same time.

The Community Christmas Dinner begins at noon Saturday, Dec. 19, and volunteers working with donated resources are putting on a sumptuous spread for everyone in the community to enjoy -- and the event will serve as a collection point for donations to the Community Food Pantry.

Melanie Elfrink, a leader of the effort, said members of the community who are not in dire straits often seem to think the dinner is not for them. But she urged everyone to attend, regardless of their financial situation.

Tom Vogl prepares meat for serving Saturday, Dec. 19, just prior to the Community Christmas Dinner at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1801 S. Miami Ave. in Marshall. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

"We really encourage everyone to come out," she said, noting that the event is mainly intended to bring members of the community together. "It's a time of just getting to see people you don't normally get to see."

The menu includes beef, pork, scalloped potatoes, green beans, rolls, slaw and cookies. Lots of cookies.

"We didn't think we would have enough cookies," Elfrink said.

"It's like the fishes and loaves. It just multiplied," said volunteer Nancy Davidson of the number of trays and plates of cookies available for the feast.

The dinner takes place at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1801 S. Miami Ave. in Marshall.

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