Church again plans Christmas dinner

CHAMPAIGN — First Christian Church will once again serve a free turkey dinner complete with entertainment and gifts for kids to anyone who needs a meal or somebody to share the holiday with on Christmas day.

Reservations are being taken now, and hundreds of volunteers are needed to make this event happen, said Lynne Barnes, who is helping plan the dinner.

"We need about 220 volunteers," she said. "Last year we had about 420 guests. It's been growing every year."

The schedule for the Dec. 25 dinner, held at the church at 3601 S. Staley Road, C, is appetizers at 12:30 p.m. and the meal at 1 p.m.

It will be held no matter what the weather, Barnes said.

Also on the agenda in addition to food: Gifts for children age 12 and under, holiday music and radio personality Jim Turpin, host of WDWS-AM NewsTalk 1400's Penny for Your Thoughts, serving as the emcee.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, such as preparing and carving turkey, plating meals, helping with appetizers, wrapping gifts, hosting tables and transportation for some guests who need a ride, Barnes said.

Volunteers can work anytime between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and don't need to stay for the entire day, she said.

The church needs a count on how many are planning to attend, so reservations are requested by Dec. 22 by calling 722-6317 or emailing christmasdinner@fcc-online.org.

Include with the reservation your name, daytime phone number and the number of people attending, plus the gender and age of any children age 12 and under for gift purposes, the church requests. Transportation must be requested when making reservations.

Sign-ups to help with the event are being done online at: http://bit.ly/1bjQEBc

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