Elks to host annual Christmas dinner

15 years ago
    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Members of Elks Lodge 1954 are busily preparing for their fourth Christmas feast at their 508 Main St. facility, providing a hot meal and festive surroundings for those wishing to attend.

Mary Dickinson, Exalted Ruler of the Presque Isle Lodge of Elks, said this marks the fourth consecutive year the Star City Elks will be hosting their Family Christmas Dinner.
“This event is for anyone who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. They are invited to join the Elks and their friends for a celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day, beginning at 11 a.m., at the lodge,” said Dickinson, who extended an invitation from the Presque isle Elks to anyone who does not have family or friends with whom to share Christmas.
“The invitation is to join with the Elks, their friends and family, on Thursday, Dec. 25, for a celebration of Christmas,” said Dickinson.
As with past dinners, the meal will feature traditional offerings.
“The Elks will be serving a traditional Christmas meal of roast turkey, country-cooked ham, tomato bisque soup, salad, vegetables and a wide variety of breads and desserts. Again this year, local musicians have volunteered to provide live entertainment, including a Christmas carol sing-along,” she said.
For the fourth year, Dickinson said Luxury Limos, of Caribou, will provide free limousine service to assist in providing transportation to those unable to travel on their own to the lodge.
“The meal, entertainment, special gifts and arrangement for transportation are all Christmas presents from the Presque Isle Elks to those wishing to join the Christmas celebration on Christmas Day at the Elks Lodge,” said Dickinson.
Dickinson recalled how the annual family Christmas event got started over three years ago.
“The idea for the Elks Family Christmas was born from the awareness of the growing number of people who, for a variety of reasons, have no one with whom to enjoy Christmas on Christmas Day,” she said. “The company of family and friends is often the greatest joy of all for most people at Christmas. Everyone should have the opportunity to share in that joy.”
The number of participants has continued to grow over the years, as has the amount of food served.
“The number of Presque Isle area individuals attending this event has increased every year. In 2007, over 150 guests and 50 lodge members attended the Family Christmas Dinner, with 220 pounds of turkey and 50 pounds of ham served last year, along with 40 pies and 18 dozen rolls from Governor’s Restaurant,” said Dickinson.
To ensure that no one should unnecessarily spend Christmas Day alone, the Presque Isle Elks want everyone in the Presque Isle area, who does not have family or friends with whom to celebrate Christmas, to join them on Christmas Day, said Dickinson.
“No one in this area should unnecessarily spend Christmas Day alone,” noted Dickinson.
The Christmas event, like the Elks’ 4th of July festivities, follows the organization’s motto of “Elks Care, Elks Share.”
“In keeping with their motto, ‘Elks Care, Elks Share,’ Elks Lodge members have annually donated their time on Christmas Day to make Christmas a joyous time for everyone. The efforts and generosity of the Elks have been matched by persons from outside the lodge who annually volunteer their time, as well as businesses, which have financially supported this project,” said Dickinson, adding, “The local police and fire departments, Public Works Department, as well as Crown Ambulance Service, annually have assisted with this project.”
A simple phone call is all it takes to guarantee a seat is saved for anyone interested in attending, said Dickinson.
“A call to the Elks Lodge at 764-0985 will reserve a place for not only an entertaining Christmas dinner, but also a limousine ride to the lodge, if transportation is a problem. For those persons confined to a wheelchair, special equipment is available not only for transportation, but for their use of the lodge facilities,” Dickinson said.
Elks Lodge members, with the assistance of Luxury Limos, will begin transporting guests to the lodge at 10:30 a.m., with musical entertainment will be followed by a traditional, sit-down Christmas meal.
Dickinson encourages anyone interested to make the call, attend and have fun with old friends or make new ones, but by all means, don’t spend the holiday alone.
“To anyone who does not want to celebrate Christmas alone and to anyone who knows of such a person who would be alone on Christmas Day, please call the Presque Isle Elks Lodge, in order to make reservations to be a part of the Elks’ fourth annual Family Christmas Dinner,” said Dickinson.