State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) said the annual Spirit of Christmas Dinner will be held this year at the Genesis Convention Center, 1 Genesis Center Plaza in Gary.
The Christmas Day dinner will be held from 1-4 p.m.
“The Spirit of Christmas Dinner has grown throughout the years and become a great success,” said Dr. Smith. “In fact, many senior citizens, those in need, and individuals who have no one with whom to share the holiday look forward to joining us every year for a good meal and warm fellowship. However, as the dinner grows in attendance, there is an additional need for money to buy the extra food needed as well as a necessity for more volunteers to make the event successful. Any donation, regardless of size, is a blessing. I can assure you that every penny will be dedicated to the Spirit of Christmas dinner.
“Likewise, we need gifts of time and talent,” added Dr. Smith. “Everyone has God-given gifts. I ask you to share them with those who are poor and hungry as well as those who suffer the pain of loneliness. The volunteer work is easy and rewarding. By offering a warm meal, a kind smile and a friendly word, you will positively touch another person’s life. They will again feel the joy of Christmas. Don’t underestimate the value of kindness. It can literally transform a person’s life. That person will be blessed, but so will you. It will be a Christmas that you will remember and cherish for a very long time.”
Dr. Smith holds the Spirit of Christmas Dinner every year to honor his deceased mother, the Rev. Julia E. Smith, and a teacher, Patricia Tillotson, who made a significant impact in his life.
Transportation is available to the dinner. Call Dr. Smith at 887-2046 to schedule transportation, reserve a place for dinner, donate, volunteer, or obtain additional information about the Spirit of Christmas Dinner.
The event is primarily for residents of Gary, Merrillville, Griffith, New Chicago, Lake Station, and Hobart. However, Dr. Smith said anyone from Lake County or anywhere else is genuinely welcome to share the holiday and a good meal at the Spirit of Christmas Dinner.