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      Volunteers spread cheer with dinner

      While others were required to work, every year there are always some who do it out of their own freewill; they're known as volunteers.

      On Wednesday, a group of them spent their Christmas making sure others enjoyed a hot meal along with a large serving of Christmas spirit. Joyful tunes filled the hall of the Ishpeming Elks Lodge as everyone joined in song.

      "It's all about Christ's gift to the world. So, it's kind of a giving thing. Plus, it's fun. You can sit at home and sing to yourself or you can go and play for other people; hopefully cheer their day up," said Trenton Thomas.

      Everyone enjoyed a traditional meal with ham. It's the second year a community Christmas dinner was hosted at the Ishpeming Elks Lodge. For the members and volunteers, it's all about giving back.

      "We needed a place to bring my father that was handicap accessible. We were able to take him out of the nursing home and bring him here this afternoon. It was perfect! We sang some Christmas Carols and had a good time," said Randy Annala, guest.

      This year more than 160 people dined in and 185 food deliveries were made. The Salvation Army in Marquette was also busy with their Christmas dinner organized by the Superiorland Kiwanis club. Organizers say it gives people a place to enjoy a warm meal and not be alone during the holiday. This year they roasted 36 turkeys.

      "I live in a place where we're all mostly single people. Lots of us are alone, and I decided to come here because I had come here other years. It's just a wonderful thing the Kiwanis does to have this for the community," said Elaine Mattson, guest.

      More than 40 volunteers helped serve around 300 people by taking orders, cooking, filling plates, and delivering food for people at home.

      For some, it's their first time volunteering; others have been doing it for years.

      "Knowing that I can be supportive on a holiday that's about giving, celebrating, joy and peace, and being able to give that to others in the community," said Krystal Riggs, volunteer.