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Wausau Community Church Groups Serve Free Christmas Dinner

The holiday season often sparks the more generous side in people. Well, this Christmas isn't any exception. Generosity held true for many in the Wausau area.

Community members were brightening the holiday for nearly 500 people by serving a free home-cooked meal, both on the road as well as at the First United Methodist Church. Many local churches and community members have made this collaborative effort for the last 45 years, but this year there are more volunteers than ever before.

"We actually had too many volunteers to deliver 380 meals," said dinner coordinator Barb Hunger. "That's wonderful."

Preparation for the event started Monday.

"We started with everything from scratch," said volunteer Mary Ann Dyke, "peeling the potatoes, mashing potatoes, cooking cranberries, making stuffing, set up the tables to decorate the tables. Preschoolers make place mats, make Christmas cards to go out with each dinner."

"I think there's a lot of community spirit in Wausau," she added.

Many have even made this their own Christmas Day tradition.

"Some people have started when their children were young and now their children have incorporated that into their family traditions and they keep coming back," said Dyke.

Their effort has certainly made a difference to many who otherwise would be alone on Christmas.

"I'm pretty stoked! It's a Merry Christmas," said guest Marty Kelly.

There were so many donations this year, the church did have some leftovers. Those left overs will be sent to the Women's Community shelter in Wausau.

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