Community Christmas Dinner thrives after a year’s hiatus

Safely offers over 200 meals to community members

File photo

File photo

Amidst the time of uncertainly, the Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association pivoted to ensure not another year goes by without offering Lakers the wholesome annual Community Christmas Dinner event. Over 200 Lakers enjoyed a special Christmas meal made available for pick-up or delivery Dec. 23.

“The Christmas dinner was a huge success. We did have a few bumps in the process, but of course, with it being the first year doing our Christmas dinner by pickup or delivery only, we thought it went very well,” said Jen Baliant, events coordinator.

The free-of-cost meals consisted of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, gravy, cranberry sauce, dinner buns, a small dessert, etc. for each family member. There also was a gift for each child under 18 years of age and seniors.

“We had 78 families pre-register with a total of 247 meals packaged. Plus we had about 12 meals extra that we gave to some of the volunteers that helped. We had 95 kids and 32 seniors. We had some donations of gift cards and gifts for children and seniors, and what we had missing we purchased,” said Baliant.

Baliant hopes to keep up the joy of Community Christmas Dinner that has been a part of Sylvan Lake for over two decades.

“I am hoping that for the 22nd Annual Community Christmas Dinner we are able to go back to having our large event at the Community Center. But if that is not possible, we know we can plan to do it the same way again. I am happy with either way,” said Baliant.

“We would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who spent several hours each day preparing and packaging all the food, getting family packages and gifts together, delivered the packages and helped clean up. A thank you to all those who donated towards the dinner,” said Baliant.

The event was made possible with the Sylvan Lake Lighthouse Fellowship Church and the Sylvan Lake Legion lending their space for the cause.