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Lions plan Christmas dinner for Hancock

December 13, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HANCOCK

daniels@herald-mail.com

For the past 10 years, Larry Gerber Sr. has known to clear as much of his schedule in December as he can.

Nobody asks him, and he actually enjoys the obligation as well as the expectation that he will take the lead.

"They just assume I'm going to do it, so I try to arrange my December schedule," he said. "I guess it's indefinite. I just enjoy doing it."

On Saturday, the Hancock Lions Club will hold its 11th annual Community Christmas Dinner at the Hancock American Legion and serve an estimated 600 people from across the Tri-State area. While planning for the event has become easier over the years, Gerber said he still is touched by the happiness he is able to bring to those who need it most.

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"You enjoy seeing people that need it there, you try to reach out to those people who don't have anywhere to go," Gerber said. "We provide for the less fortunate and those in need. It just makes you feel good."

Gerber said he expects some will attend the dinner who are not truly in need, and the though annoys him. Still, he said, he knows there are so many more who genuinely appreciate the food and company, and their joy more than makes up for it.

"You have individuals that take advantage of the system, and when you see them walk in the door your blood boils," said Gerber, who has coordinated the event since its inception 10 years ago. "But then you see those who walk in the door who truly need it."

Gerber said members of the Lions deliver food to about 250 shut-ins, including the elderly and those who cannot make it to the Legion. In many cases, he said, their stories are the most compelling.

"We've got one fellow that has delivered for us for years," he said. "I've seen him come back with tears in his eyes."

Gerber said members of the Hancock Lionesses also bring desserts, including cookies and cakes, to the dinner. About 30 Lions Club members and 20 members of the Lionesses assist with the event. Other groups, including the Girl Scouts, Sons of the Legion and the American Legion have assisted.




If you go...



What: Hancock Lions Community Christmas Dinner

Where: American Legion, 240 E. Main St.

When: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residents are asked to register for the dinner by calling 301-678-5622.

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