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Volunteers plan Christmas dinner

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

Four years ago, a Hays Christmas tradition was introduced bringing volunteers and community members together.

Plans for the upcoming community Christmas dinner set for 12:30 p.m. Dec. 25 at the VFW Hall, 2106 Vine, are under way. Made possible through community members and business donations, the event fed more than 300 people last year. Organizers hope to serve 400 individuals this year.

"It's a place for people and families that don't have a place for Christmas, or they may be alone for Christmas day," said organizer Brittany Lang, a Fort Hays State University senior and Hays native. "Also, for people who just want to fellowship with people in the community.

"Anyone's welcome."

A traditional Christmas meal of turkey, ham, creamed corn and dinner rolls will be prepared by members of the Hays VFW.

"The Christmas dinner wouldn't be the same without them," Lang said of the VFW members. "The Lord would provide in different ways, but it's a lot more simple with the guys at the VFW.

"They're so generous to give their time on Christmas day."

Although donations are accepted, the meal is free of charge. Sixty volunteers worked together with Hays VFW members to make last year's event possible.

Volunteers for the upcoming dinner still are needed for such tasks as serving drinks, clearing tables and directing parking lot flow. Those interested in volunteering can call Lang at (785) 259-3766 or email communitychristmasdinner@gmail.com.

Many families volunteer each year, working together to make the event, which originally was organized by Jennifer Follis, a success.

"It's been really neat to see the children helping," Lang said. "Just a lot of joy in the place.

"It's really neat to see."