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Council approves civic recognition for retiring Christmas Dinner founders

A great crowd at the Gilead Fellowship Church Christmas dinner. – Ann Sherwood photo

Council will honour local residents who gave community members a free Christmas dinner for the past 20 years.

A Civic Recognition nomination has been made for Larry and Katherine Snider, Gayle Istead and Edward Rand who have been instrumental behind the organizing and the serving of more than 400 meals Gilead Fellowship annual Christmas dinner.

They have been supported by some 75 volunteers at recent dinners serving up turkey, ham and all the fixings, as well as providing door prizes and gifts for children. All is covered by fundraising and generous community support.

The event’s founder, Pastor Larry Snider, began the dinners in the church basement with about 30 people gathered. Attendance grew to some 400 meals – which included about 75 home deliveries for shut-ins, seniors and others.

Snider’s plan all along was that people who attend are not necessarily in need, but would otherwise be alone.

“Rich or poor, it doesn’t matter. We want to be there for them. Our thought is nobody shall be turned away, but we specifically encourage people who are alone at Christmas time, from whatever walk of life you come from.”

The 2019 dinner was the last for Snider. At age 75, he says it is time to pass the torch. Councillor Phil St. Jean told council talks are in the works to pass the “carving forks” to another community organization.

The Civic Recognition would be presented at the Feb. 18 meeting of council.

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