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      A Christmas dinner for the community

      Gladstoneâ??s Memorial United Methodist Church held their 11th annual Christmas dinner Wednesday. With the help of five other churches, they came together to offer the community a free meal and a warm welcoming environment. The tradition began when the church saw that some members did not have family here for the holidays.â??Some of the folks here are just lonesome and they come,â?? said coordinator Alice Butch. â??Or, they just want to be with other people. That's the main reason we do this, for the fellowship"

      People from all walks of life are encouraged to dine.

      â??Some of the people actually look poor a little bit," said eight-year-old Madison Richter. â??One looked kind of ragged a little bit.â??

      With the help of community and church members, 215 pounds of turkey, 75 lbs. of ham and 100 lbs. of potatoes were prepared to feed around 400 people this year.

      â??It's nice to work with people who want to be here,â?? said Steve Bolek, volunteer and First Lutheran Church member. â??People who are willing to come out and give up their time and help somebody else in need."

      â??We enjoy doing it, helping all the people get a good square meal," said Ray Young, volunteer.

      Volunteers feel they are the fortunate ones this Christmas season.

      â??It's one of those blessings where we bless other people, but we are more blessed by being here with the people that come to have dinner,â?? said Elizabeth Hill, Pastor at Memorial United Methodist Church. â??It's a true Christmas miracle for us."