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December 19, 2013

Thousands expected to attend community Christmas dinner

DUNCAN — On Christmas Day, people have a place to go, food to eat and others to socialize with.

About 200 volunteers are expected to help with this year’s Stephens County Community Christmas Dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 25, at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. This is the 25th year for the meal.

“If the weather’s good, we expected over 3,000 people this year,” Sonny Webb, Christmas dinner board member, said. “It’s been good for Duncan. It’s good for the whole county.”

Last year, the event served 2,640 people. In the first year, about 350 people attended the event. The highest attended year was in 2011, when 3,200 people stopped by to eat.

Webb said 2012 did have numerous people who ordered deliveries instead of going to the fairgrounds. He said this was the result of winter weather. He said many people still attend the dinner, even if the weather isn’t favorable.

“People have a need, and we give them somewhere to go for Christmas,” Webb said. “Some just come down there to socialize. We serve quite a few needy. It gives everyone somebody to be with on Christmas Day.”

Aside from serving people at the fairgrounds and at various residences and offices throughout Stephens County, food will also be delivered to fire departments, police departments and the Stephens County Jail. Webb said the volunteers like taking food to people working, especially emergency workers, because they always appreciate it.

He said for firefighters and police officers, the food delivery is a big deal.

Webb said many volunteers will work the entire day to make sure people are served and the food is distributed as needed.

“Some of them just work a few hours,” Webb said. “Some work all day.”

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