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Updated: 12/26/2013 08:00:04AM

Christmas Day dinners, a tradition continues

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Christmas is a time for joy, family and friends. But for many in our community it is not possible to share a holiday meal with family or friends. Two opportunities will ensure the needy and the lonely in Lake Placid are neither on Christmas Day.

Jean and Mark Fortier will be hosting a dinner again this year at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid. “Being alone for the holiday leads to sadness,” Jean Fortier said. “Christmas should be a time of joy and happiness.”

Eddie Mae Henderson is also keeping with tradition by again hosting her annual Christmas Day luncheon. For nearly 40 years Henderson has been keeping folks from being in want or lonely. “Christmas Day is a time to be with friends; old friends and new friends,” she said.

With both of these culinary events on Christmas Day, everyone will have a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Day luncheon

Henderson has again orchestrated a lunch to be held today (Christmas Day) at the Masonic Lodge on North Main Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu will consist of turkey, sides, breads and desserts.

“Everyone is welcome, regardless of need,” urges Henderson. “Just come out and have a good meal and a good time!”

The meals are free, as is the fellowship. The entire meal is made possible through donations. “Donations were slow coming this year,” Eddie Mae said. “But we are going to have a great time and good food.”

Henderson would not let the lack of donations stop her; saying her faith is in a greater power. “I was called by the Lord to do this and we’ve been at it for almost 40 years in a row,” she said adamantly. “It’s all about the calling and serving others.”

But the luncheon wouldn’t be possible each year without the help of volunteers. Anyone who would like to volunteer is encouraged to come early to help out. “Just show up to help and we’ll find just the right place for you,” Henderson said.

Although the lunch is free, donations will be gratefully received.

Christmas Day dinner

Jeanne and Mark Fortier will again host a free Christmas Day dinner in the Friendship Hall at First Presbyterian Church on Oak Avenue in Lake Placid. Dinner will be served at 4 p.m.

“Everyone is welcome to join in the fun, food and fellowship,” Mark Fortier said. The menu will include beef and pork, sides, breads and desserts.

The Fortiers do not want anyone to be alone on Christmas day. “We hope to make Christmas Day a lot brighter for those who would otherwise be spending the holiday alone,” explained Jeanne.

To ensure that enough food is prepared, those planning to attend are asked to call 863-243-4177. “People can call right up until meal time,” Jeanne Fortier said. “We hope to get an idea of how much to prepare.”