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A place to meet, eat and sing

December 08, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Among the crowd gathered at Hagerstown Community College Friday night for a Christmas feast, three strangers came together as friends.

Jean Thomas of Hagerstown and Bill Hasenbuhler of Fairplay met in the parking lot.

Hasenbuhler adopted Thomas as his "temporary wife" because his actual wife didn't want to venture out in the ice, he said.

Thomas was terrible as a "wife," and let him eat too much food, Hasenbuhler said.

When Jerry Shenk walked into the gathering alone, Thomas invited him to join them, Shenk said.

"I think it's a wonderful idea, a chance to meet people," Thomas said at the end of her meal.

The second annual Christmas dinner was sponsored by the HCC Student Government Association and was free and open to the community, said Renee Earley, coordinator of student activities.

About 80 people were expected for Friday's dinner, which was followed by Christmas caroling.

Guests ate at tables decorated with twinkling candles and festive candies. A Christmas tree graced the corner and Christmas songs played over a sound system during the meal.

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Lisa Stewart works at HCC as the alumni coordinator, and attended the Christmas dinner last year to support the student government, she said. Stewart so enjoyed the caroling that she wanted to attend the dinner again, she said.

Robin Thomas and her mother, Roberta Thomas, joined Stewart for the dinner.

The student government organizes a lot of fun, often free, events for the community, Stewart said.

Virginia and Keith Forrester of Smithsburg saw the dinner advertised on TV.

"It's fun to get out for something for Christmas," Virginia Forrester said, sitting at a table scattered with red and green Hershey kisses.

Keith Forrester said he was impressed by the "very nice" meal.

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