By James Beaty
McALESTER — By making several adjustments, volunteers working with this year’s Community Christmas Dinner were able to make it a success once more. “We delivered 1,400 dinners in McAlester and Krebs,” said one of the volunteers who helped organize the annual event, who, as usual, asked to remain anonymous. “Everything went reasonably well, considering the weather didn’t cooperate,” he said.
One of the adjustments came as volunteers prepared to deliver the holiday dinners Christmas morning, with a winter storm forecast to move into the area that day. “We moved the delivery time up a little bit,” the volunteer said. “We started the large special deliveries around 9:30 and we started the home deliveries around 10.” By starting earlier, those making the deliveries were able to get them finished before the winter weather hit in force.
“We were a little short-handed on the serving line, but we were able to get it all out on time,” the volunteer said. “The last dinners went out at about 11:30.” One big bit of help came from the Walmart Super Center. “Walmart’s bakery department donated a significant amount of pastries,” the volunteer said.
They were added to pies, cakes and other items prepared by big-hearted cooks in the community, to ensure a dessert for everyone who had a Christmas dinner delivered by the volunteers. “Combined with the donations from the people in the community, we had an abundance of food,” the volunteer said.
Volunteers delivered the free Christmas dinners to anyone living in McAlester and Krebs who phoned in and made arrangements in advance. With no age or income guidelines, the dinner had been open to anyone in McAlester of Krebs who wanted to participate. The menu included ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, dressing, rolls, dessert and a beverage.
The success of this year’s Community Christmas Dinner shows that once again the people in the McAlester and Krebs areas have pulled together to make it possible. “We appreciate everybody’s helping in spite of the threat of bad weather,” the volunteer said. Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.