Hundreds come together for the 13th Rotary Christmas dinner

Organizers of the 13th annual Rotary Christmas Dinner at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, expect to have feed roughly between 500 to 600 people Tuesday. But it is the story of two strangers who enjoyed their first Christmas together that demonstrates why the event brings hundreds every year.

“I’m here today because ever since my mom passed in 2011,” Diane Dinan said, a Rotary Christmas dinner guest. “Christmas doesn’t feel the same at home, and I come here every year and I see all my old friends.

“And I always meet someone new,” Dinan said. “This is Patrice. She’s my new friend and it’s just a real nice thing, community spirit — we just love it. And good food too!”

“Christmas doesn’t feel the same for me because I’ve lost a lot of family members and I wanted to come out and meet others,” Patrice Moore said, a first-time Rotary Christmas dinner guest. “And you know I’ve met these two, a lovely couple and they’re wonderful.”

“But the best thing is seeing all the old friends and saying hi and,” Dinan said, “we only see some of the people once a year and it’s here so it’s a lot of fun.

“You know all my mom’s friends I get to see here, who I don’t see them during the year at all,” Dinan said. “She used to go to church here.”

“No place like home, but there’s just something about good people and good food and it just brings everything together,” Moore said. “I’m having a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I really am; I’m enjoying myself.”

“I’m not cooking on my own. Mom’s not there there’s only the two of us, it’s like crazy,” Dinan said. “We’re taking food to other people today though, we’re gonna go to the nursing home next and sneak in a beer for one of our dear friends! Shh!!”

“What ever you celebrate, happy holidays and wish me a happy spectacular 70th birthday next Wednesday!” Dinan said.

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