NORMAN — A tradition that began in 1987 and approaches its 27th year, the Norman Christmas Day Community Dinner plans to serve some 2,000 meals to Norman community members on Christmas Day, next Wednesday.
What started as a free community Christmas dinner with 20 people and 24 volunteers has grown to about 2,000 meals and 200 volunteers. Every year, the dinner benefits those who are alone or unable to prepare a Christmas meal.
“We’re doing God’s work,” Bob Magarian, event director, said of what drives him to work on the event each year. “It’s rewarding to help others.”
The dinner is free and open to everyone, especially those who need a place to eat or wish to share Christmas with others. It will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day in the Norman High School Commons cafeteria.
Additionally, the dinner will make home deliveries to those who call.
Traditional fixings will be served, including turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, string beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Santa will distribute toys and gifts to children, teenagers and adults.
The community dinner needs new toy donations for children of all ages, as well as winter gear like gloves, caps, socks and scarves for teenagers and adults. Tolietrie items for teenagers and adults also are needed. Gift donations do not have to be gift wrapped.
Donations may be dropped off at St. Michael’s Church, 1601 W. Imhoff Road, until Christmas Eve or from 9 a.m. to noon Christmas Eve morning at Norman High School.
“Norman is great at taking care of people,” Magarian said. “Guests will see lots of happy faces at the dinner.”
The dinner is coordinated by St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and supported by banks, businesses and private donations.
Magarian said without continued support from the community, the dinner would not be possible. Financial contributions may be made by checks payable to “St. Michael’s Community Christmas Dinner Fund” and mailed to St. Michael’s Church.