Elks serve Christmas dinner

9 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Presque Isle Elks Lodge was filled to near capacity on Christmas Day, as people in the area, who would otherwise be alone, gathered for Christmas dinner and a celebration of the day.

The Elks lodge had been made particularly festive with a seemingly endless array of Christmas plants and greenery donated by local businesses.
Elks members and non-member volunteers joined together to cook and serve a choice of two five-course meals to the large gathering. Live music was provided by Wendell Hudson, Peter Parker and Leland Clark, who were all playing for the 10th consecutive year.
At the end of the meal, Elks had served 10 gallons of tomato bisque soup, courtesy of the Northeastland Hotel, 20 lbs. of cheese, six pounds of pepperoni, eight pounds of olives, 10 lbs. of crackers, 15 lbs. of mixed nuts, 20 cucumbers, 10 lbs. of tomatoes, 40 lbs. of lettuce, 80 lbs. of white potatoes, 80 lbs. of squash, 36 lbs. of sweet potatoes, 36 lbs. of carrots, 40 lbs. of peas, 40 lbs. of stuffing, 40 lbs. of ham, 192 lbs. of turkey, 20 dozen Governor’s dinner rolls and 30 assorted pies.
Santa Claus presented every guest with a Christmas stocking filled with fruit, candy and gifts.
In order to organize, publicize, gather the necessary food items, decorations and gifts, transport guests, cook and serve the meal, and clean up, Elk members and volunteers collectively donated over 500 man-hours to make the dinner a reality.
“The success of an event, such as the Elks Family Christmas Dinner, can be measured by the number of happy smiles and heartfelt thank yous received from the guests as they depart,” said Alan Harding, Exalted Ruler of Presque Isle Elks, Lodge 1954. “By that measure, the dinner was a huge success.
“Another measure of the success of such a charitable event is the number of volunteers, who at the end of their work in helping with the event, feel an overwhelming sense of gratification in knowing in their heart that they have performed a good and worthy deed for others. Using that measure, the dinner was an overwhelming success — as it has been for the previous nine years,” Harding said.
Harding said non-perishable articles necessary for an 11th annual dinner are already being gathered and stored away.