Get your reservation now for Sidney’s Christmas Day Community Dinner

Get your reservation now for Sidney’s Christmas Day Community Dinner

Dec. 25 meal for people who are alone on Christmas day

As the weather outside turns frightful, there’s an annual event inside the Mary Winspear Centre that’s delightful for people who cannot be with family or friends at Christmas.

A jolly collection of volunteers on the Saanich Peninsula are getting ready to host the annual Christmas Day Community Dinner.

Reservations for the by-donation dinner are being taken as of November 24 — but according to one of the volunteers, Isobel Yoxall, people started calling on the first day of the month.

The volunteer group works closely with three grocery stores on the Peninsula, Thrifty Foods, Save-On-Foods and Fairway Market. The stores can continued to be very generous with the event, making sure they have the meals ready to go on December 25.

It’s the 18th year for the Christmas dinner event. It was started in 2000 by April Andrews, Debbie Seeboth and Jeanette Hughes and the idea is to provide a meal and companionship to seniors and others who are alone on Christmas day. Yoxall said last year’s dinner saw around 250 people over two sittings.

Once again, leading the cooking team, is volunteer Clara Knight. She said there will be 12 or 13 turkeys — at 20 pounds or more each — as well as stuffing and all the fixings. She said she’s managed to get two sets of plates and cutlery this year — from the Saanich Fairgrounds and from the Friendship Community Church — so there’s not mad scramble to clean dishes during the meal. They organizers, however, still do require a lot of volunteers.

Knight said volunteering at the event has become a tradition for many people, such as the Winkle family. She said four generations of that family turned out last year to serve food, clean and more.

“We all pitch in too,” Knight said.

Volunteer Vern England (who says’s he’s going to play a very big role during the dinner, ho-ho-ho) will be working with the grocery stores to collect the food and make sure Knight and her team have all they need to prepare the dinner in advance.

There are two sittings at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. For reservations, call lead organizer Wendy Warshawski at 250-656-7678.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November, 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches – a fact highlighted in a report released by the BC Humanist Associaton on Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

Blessings violate Supreme Court decision that prayer in council is discriminatory

Karl Ablack, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Task Force, says visitors should steer clear of the community after the second wave of COVID has begun to hit across the province. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht First Nation asks visitors to steer clear of community again

Tight-knit community of 400 has yet to report single case of COVID

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
New COVID-19 exposure on WestJet flight from Edmonton to Victoria

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Port McNeill councillor Derek Koel busts a rap to help promote the town’s active transportation plan. (Facebook video screenshot)
VIDEO: Vancouver Island councillor makes rap video to promote active transportation plan

Active transportation is a personal matter for councillor Derek Koel.

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

Most Read