The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Headlines

December 26, 2012

26th festive Christmas feast goes on

NORMAN — Weather didn’t stop some residents from attending

Christmas Day 2012 was full of the season’s traditional earmarks in Norman — the hush of a city on holiday, bitter, cold winds with ice and a dusting of snow, and the culmination of months of planning and years of generosity: The Norman Free Christmas Day Community Dinner.

“I wasn’t too worried about the weather,” said Bob Magarian, dinner coordinator and host. “You have to expect the numbers to go down a little, but if we only served five people today, we’d be here.”

Tuesday marked the dinner’s 26th anniversary, continuing a rain-or-shine event whose inaugural dinner in 1987 was marked by the worst ice storm Norman had seen at the time.

“We served 20 people and had 24 volunteers that year,” Magarian said.

Though the dinner has expanded to roughly 10 times its initial size, the dinner’s first crowd, however small, left a major impression on Magarian and his fellow volunteers.

“A man who attended the first dinner with his wife and two children told me this dinner was going to be their Christmas, since he’d lost his job a week before and the family had no money,” Magarian said. “People there that first year asked me, ‘Are you going to do this again?’ and I said, ‘I’m not going to do this again, we are.’”

Longtime volunteer Dorothy Kitchens had a similar experience at her first community dinner in 1988.

“The first year I volunteered, I saw a lot of guests at the dinner who were in great need, and the years following, we advertised and opened it up to the community because no one should be by themselves on Christmas,” Kitchens said.

Since then, Kitchens has made volunteering a part of every Christmas, saying that though the work is tiring, it’s a “good tired.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014