Preparations are nearly complete for Linn Thornton's 26th annual Community Christmas Dinner on Saturday at the American Legion Home at 715 E. Broadway in Monett.
Thornton has been packing and distributing toys for needy families all week as he made arrangements for the dinner. He has already accepted 145 meals for home delivery on Christmas day, including 73 to the Barry County Jail in Cassville. This will be the second year Thornton has shared dinner with the inmates.
Doors for the dinner will open at 11 a.m. Thornton expects to feed more than 1,000 people on Saturday.
Thornton's dinner is designed for those who are alone, unable to cook a traditional Christmas dinner, travelers or people wanting to enjoy an old-fashioned gathering where they can see friends and socialize around the dinner table.
Shut-ins unable to come to the Legion Home can call for a home delivered meal on Christmas day only. Requests can be made by calling 417-489-6117 or 489-2073.
|Donations to date have boosted the menu to include wild hog, venison, ham, wild turkey, beef, fish, pheasant, an abundance of chicken and turkey. Home cooked meat loaves, salads, rolls from the Southwest Area Career Center's culinary arts class and desserts will complete the offerings.|
Thornton said he would welcome additional food or financial donations to cover the dinner's expenses. Arrangements can be made by calling Thornton at 236-0222. Food can be delivered on Saturday morning at the Legion Home.
Anyone wishing to help serve the meal, cook, deliver meals or run errands is welcome. Thornton asked people to simply come to the Legion Home on Saturday and give whatever time they can. Thornton starts around 5 a.m. and finishes clean-up around 4 p.m.
"Come in good comfortable shoes," he advised volunteers.
Thornton has his Christmas tree from last year and plans to decorate the Legion Hall on Friday night in preparation for the big day.