Houlton Region

40th Annual Elks Senior Citizen Christmas Dinner to do takeout, delivery only due to COVID-19 concerns

HOULTON, Maine — For the second straight year, a popular tribute to local seniors will not take place in a traditional manner.

Organizers for the 40th annual Elks Senior Citizen Christmas Dinner have come up with a takeout and delivery model to minimize contact between people, due to COVID-19 concerns.

Slated for Sunday Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Houlton Elks Lodge No. 835 will be doing takeout and delivery within a 5-mile radius to any senior that wants a meal. Individuals may reserve meals by contacting the Elks Lodge at 207-532-2791. 

“After last year’s event being canceled, it was our hope to be back to normal this year but that just isn’t the case,” said Sean Conlogue, Elks coordinator of the senior dinner. “The committee met and discussed options about hosting the traditional event, but after much discussion, it was decided that an in-person gathering was not in the best interest of keeping seniors safe.”

This event has become a time-honored tradition that sees as many as 400 to 600 roast turkey dinners with all the fixings prepared at no cost. Each item is prepared from scratch and would not be possible without the generous donations from local businesses and the many volunteers. 

“The Houlton Elks Lodge is very disappointed that they cannot serve our local senior citizens in the same fashion as years past,” Conlogue added. “Traditionally, local seniors would fill the dining room of the Houlton Elks Lodge for an afternoon of fine food, camaraderie, and music. The Houlton Lodge is hopeful that next year that will be in place again.”

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