Over 600 Show Up For
Rotary’s Free Christmas Dinner
Over 600 people showed up on Christmas Day at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, for the Rotary Club’s free Christmas dinner, open to everyone in Lehigh.
This year it appears that the Rotary Club and volunteers served a hundred more than last Christmas and each year, the crowd grows as the word gets around.
Doors opened at 11 a.m. and the dinner continued to 2 p.m. and more than 50 volunteers showed up to help out the Rotary Club serve up turkey and ham and all the trimmings that traditionally go with a Christmas meal. Rotarians started early on Christmas Eve Day cooking the turkeys and hams and other foods.
Without the volunteers, Mike Buff said they couldn’t pull off such an event. The Rotary Club has been doing this for at least 13 years now and there are no plans to stop. The club hosts two dinners during the holidays Thanksgiving and again on Christmas. Of the two, the Thanksgiving Dinners draws the largest crowd with over790 dinners served this past Thanksgiving.
While the dinner was free to everyone in Lehigh, some donated money as they came into the entrance of the parish hall and the money is put away to help buy turkeys and hams and other foods for the following year. If there is not enough, the Rotary is able to dig into its pockets and come up with enough money to pay for more food.
The hall is provided to the Rotary Club and people of Lehigh without charge.
Many people, who were attending Christmas Mass at the adjacent church, came to the dinner afterwards.
One person who deserves a lot of credit at the Rotary Dinners is Casper Miceli. He is the official traffic control person and he guides people to the serving line. Without this senior citizen’s help, there would be mass confusion in the large dining room. He has been doing this as a volunteer for almost all of the 13 y ears that the Rotary Club has been serving dinners.