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Lions Club Christmas dinner set for Saturday

December 14, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - Twelve years ago, Hancock Lions Club member Larry Gerber was sitting at home at Thanksgiving watching the news from the Washington, D.C., area.

"Everyone was serving the socially disadvantaged," Gerber said. "I wondered why we can't do that in Hancock."

Gerber brought the idea of serving Christmas dinner to Hancock's disadvantaged to his fellow Lions, and they all were in favor.

Looking around for a place, Gerber approached Webster B. Harrison American Legion Post 26 to see if the Lions could use their building for the dinner.

At first, the word was no.

"I pushed them ... I pushed them hard," Gerber said, noting he is a member of both organizations.

An agreement was reached - the Lions could use the building for the dinner if the Lions gave the Legion credit for using it.

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And the rest is history.

This year, the dinner will be served Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, succotash, fruit salad, desserts and beverages.

"Last year, we served 600 meals - sit down and delivered," Gerber said. "We've tried to cut back on the deliveries this year, only to the elderly and those too physically disadvantaged to get to the legion."

The Lions Club members do all the cooking, beginning about 5 a.m. Members of the Hancock Lioness Club, Girl Scouts and Brownies will help with serving, Gerber said.

Members of the Legion family take care of the deliveries, including Bill Mozier, who has been volunteering every year.

"We buy 90 percent of the food we serve," Gerber said, adding they do accept donations. The money comes from Lions Club chicken barbecues, breakfasts in the park and other fundraisers.

Gerber said the annual meal is quite inspiring for him and others.

It is a way for the Hancock Lions Club to express thanks for the continuous support of their projects and give back to the community by helping at Christmas.

Remember, bring your appetite and good spirit - there is no charge for the meal.

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