Volunteer cooking staff came forward to prepare Christmas Day dinner after annual event had been cancelled. Photo contributed

Saving of annual Campbell River Christmas dinner seems miraculous

Event was cancelled three weeks prior to Christmas but couple took up the challenge

It came as a shock to Andy and Pierrette Beaudin that this year’s annual Christmas Community Dinner usually held at the Community Centre was cancelled.

So, the Beaudins took it upon themselves three weeks prior to the day the Christmas Community Dinner was to take place to pull it all together. It was a scramble but it seemed miraculous how it all came together.

The odds were against them. The regular food donor gave the food to another organization because the event had been officially cancelled. How would they get enough food to prepare for a potential 200-300 people with no budget? Also, the food had to be prepared by an individual with Food Safe who was able to cook Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

They found a cook with Food Safe who was available on short notice to overlook all the food preparations. There were a few gifts for children that were left over from the previous year but more were required to ensure all the children who came would have a gift.

Where would they find enough money to buy all the gifts required for the event three weeks before Christmas? No volunteers had been contacted or organized in any way. On many levels this looked as though it would be impossible to pull together.

However, the Beaudins relied on their faith – and the miracle of Christmas – and started seeking help from the community. The obstacles before them started to fall, one at a time.

Before they knew it, a friend bought all 14 turkeys needed; pallets of potatoes that were donated unexpectedly to the Salvation Army became 200 pounds of potatoes donated for the meal. Supplies and groceries, including finances for gifts were provided from various people, organizations and businesses.

A few friends helped by calling volunteers resulting in enough help to successfully prepare and serve the meal. There was such an excitement from the community to help that they had to stop taking names of people wanting to help.

The Beaudins were in awe of how it all came together on Christmas Day. They are overwhelmed with the love and generosity of the people who pulled together to make the event a success.

The Beaudins want to say thank-you to the many people, organizations, businesses and the City of Campbell River for all their generosity, support and help.

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