There are no expectations that those who attend the free Christmas dinner held at St. Anthony’s Hall in Woodstock every year, but a box is available in case anyone wants to make a donation.
This year a winter storm forced organizers to move the free dinner to Boxing Day. More diners than ever showed up, between 170 and 180, and approximately 40 volunteers were in attendance to help set out the meal and to provide entertainment.
Preston Murphy, one of the founders of the meal, said donations received on Boxing Day amounted to $1,300 and, coupled with donations leading up to the meal, allowed for organizers to make donations of $1,000 each to Transportation West and the St. Anthony’s Church Restoration Fund. He presented the contributions on Wednesday.
The meal is open to all. It’s a social gathering and especially welcomed by people who do not have other family members living close by, he noted. Area businesses helped supply meal items, including turkeys, hams, potatoes and carrots, which were subsequently prepared and cooked at the hall.