Festive cheer at community luncheon

The Christmas community luncheon once more proved popular.

Over 80 people enjoyed a free meal and some wonderful company at the Tumut Community Christmas Luncheon this year.

The luncheon is held annually on Christmas Day at the Showgrounds for those who for whatever reason may not have plans to spend the day with others. It is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers, and is frequently attended by travellers from out of town, older people, Valmar clients with disabilities, and a wide variety of others.

Committee member Patricia Mangelsdorf said that 2016’s lunch may have been their best one yet.

“The day was wonderful,” she said.

“We had quite a mix of people there, and we also took some out to the radio station and the police of course.”

For the first time this year the luncheon group organised a hot lunch as opposed to cold meats and salad, serving up baked turkey and ham with a smoked trout entrée. They also had trivia with prizes and other activities for attendees to have fun.

The lunch is organised by Ms Mangelsdorf, Cynthia Crampton, Jackie Spicer, and Elizabeth Stanford, as well as in between 15 and 20 volunteers on the day.

“We had a great lot of workers, quite incredible, and people from the community were very, very generous in supporting the luncheon,” Ms Mangelsdorf said.

“There were a lovely couple from Junee who were staying here, and they went around to just about every volunteer and said how wonderful it was. People were very unselfish in the way they gave up their time on Christmas day – it was great.”

The four women will be meeting this week to discuss the lunch and evaluate what went well and what they can improve on. No one is paying them for this, but they’re determined to provide the best event possible every year.

“It’s amazing, all the things you have to organise, but it’s very, very worthwhile, and there’s so many people in our community who would otherwise be on their own,” Ms Mangelsdorf said.