Christmas Angels dinner back in Petawawa
Sean Chase/Daily Observer The Christmas Angels Community Dinner will be held on Christmas Day at the Petawawa Civic Centre Main Hall from noon until 2 p.m. Announcing the return of this special holiday event is the organizing committee (left to right) Gloria Deane-Freeman, Kim Clouthier, Ray Serre and Theresa Sabourin.
PETAWAWA - The Christmas Angels have returned.
After a one-year hiatus, the Christmas Angels community dinner will once more be held at the Petawawa Civic Centre on Monday, Dec. 25. The doors of the upstairs main hall will open at 12 noon and dinner will be served until 2 p.m.
The traditional Christmas Day gathering began life 11 years ago as a venue for military families with loved ones deployed overseas who had no place to go for a holiday meal. It has branched into an event inviting the entire community especially folks who won't have family around for the holidays. Kim Clouthier, a member of the organizing committee, said the Christmas Angels are grateful that they are able to bring the dinner back.
“From the kindness of many supporters in the town and many volunteers, we are able to put together a Christmas dinner again,” said Clouthier. “It's for anyone who is alone or for anyone who wants to come out for some Christmas cheer.”
At its height during the Afghanistan combat mission, Petawawa was deploying more than 2,000 troops to Kandahar, with most of those tours coinciding with the holiday season. The luncheon would have served as many as 300 people during that time. With the garrison gearing up for NATO deployments to Latvia and the Ukraine, and with local troops still in Iraq and Kuwait, the Angels hope to help out military families.
“We started this with the first deployment to Afghanistan and started it for the military and the town,” said Gloria Deane-Freeman, who has been a driving force behind the dinner since its inception, along with Clouthier and Theresa Sabourin. “So we want to encourage that for sure.”
The Christmas Angels dinner promises the same festive atmosphere that has made it popular in the past. The meal will be prepared by Schmidt's Catering, while Hyska's Independent Grocer is a major sponsor and donor. Organizers said they have received financial support from many donors who wish to remain anonymous but wanted to see the dinner came back. This year they expect between 250 and 300 guests.
Music will be provided by the Madill Family, who have been a staple at dinners-past. The committee promises a special appearance from Santa Claus, who has agreed to stop by on his way back to the North Pole after his Christmas Eve journey around the world.
“It's a fun and glorious day where people who normally don't get dressed up to go somewhere have a place to go,” added Clouthier. “They can enjoy the good food, the music and the nice people who are going to be here.”
There is no requirement to RSVP. The Angels just want folks to stop in. Dinners will be delivered to those within Petawawa who have limited mobility, who are suffering from illness or are shut-ins. To order a delivered dinner, called Theresa at 613-687-2429.