Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. presents a cheque for $1,000 to Kimmie MacDonald for the ‘Taking Care Of…Uu a thluk’ community dinner. PHOTO COURTESY JEFFREY COOK

Port Alberni comes together for community Christmas dinner

Businesses, individuals show true meaning of ‘Uu-a-thluk’

No one deserves to eat alone—or worse, not eat at all—on Christmas Day. A group of Port Alberni residents agree, so they got together and have revived the community Christmas dinner.

Taking Care Of…Uu-a-thluk Community Dinner is planned for Monday, Dec. 25, from 1–4 p.m. at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Everyone is invited.

Yes, everyone. Dinner spokespeople Jeffrey Cook and Kimmie MacDonald said organizers are anticipating as many as 500 people will show up for this dinner.

“We have a lot of homeless and low income people that are lonely, or with no friends or family in town,” says MacDonald.

The event began two years ago when Brian Calm of The Pizza Factory learned there would be no Christmas dinner on Dec. 25 at the Bread of Life, like there had been in past years. Bread of Life had decided to do its dinner on a different day.

Calm and his legion of volunteers served 200 people at The Pizza Factory two years ago, but there was no dinner last year. Cook approached him last summer about reviving the community Christmas dinner, and Calm said if someone else would take the lead, he would support it wholeheartedly. So Cook, MacDonald and Val Bellwood took it on.

From there, it snowballed. Calm and his staff will cook the turkeys, potatoes and vegetables with assistance from staff at Little Valley Deli and Bucksnorts Bar and Grill. The Athletic Hall Association donated the hall, and Save-On-Foods donated $1,500 in food at reduced rates. Citizens are volunteering, other businesses have come forward with donations of all kinds, and volunteers have come forward willing to help out.

“It’s taken on a life of its own,” Cook said.

“Meals on Wheels will deliver hot meals to fire, ambulance, police and hospital workers,” Cook said.

There is no registration required to come to dinner: just show up.

A wrapping party was held on Tuesday, to make sure all the gifts were wrapped; they’re trying to have a gift for everyone who attends.

A Christmas tree will be set up in the hall and Cook and MacDonald are asking people coming for dinner to bring an ornament or a card to hang on the tree. “They don’t have to be store-bought,” Cook said. “That can be their contribution to dinner.”

Cook and MacDonald are still looking for some entertainment for the dinner. Donations are also still being accepted. Updates for the event are being made on social media, but for more information, e-mail Cook at jeff.cook1950@icloud.com. MacDonald can be reached at kimmie_macdonald@hotmail.com.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Alberni wrestler heads to University of the Fraser Valley to compete

Ravi Manhas is one of 10 recruits signed to the Cascades for 2018-19

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Lawyer fired in B.C. courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident near Nanaimo, B.C.

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

Most Read