Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

December 24, 2012

Christmas dinner tradition lives on

EFFINGHAM — Nobody really remembers when grocer Clyde Martin started the annual community Christmas dinner, but it’s been long enough that it can safely be called a local holiday tradition.

    Anybody faced with spending Christmas Day by themselves is invited to come over to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish Center for a midday Christmas feast.

    Volunteers are encouraged to report to the church at 10:30 a.m. Christmas morning. Serving will begin at 11:30 a.m.

    Effingham resident Ken Cleeton will again begin cooking at 5 a.m. Christmas morning.

    While the first mention of the dinner in the Effingham Daily News was in 1972, Clyde Martin’s son, Newlin, owner of Martins IGA Plus, said his dad started the dinner sometime in the mid 1960s.

    The Effingham Ministerial Association has been involved in the dinner for at least the last 25 years. At one time, different churches rotated hosting the event. But given its location and handicap accessibility, Sacred Heart has been hosting the dinner for the past several years.

    Longtime volunteer Carol Toney said she started working at the dinner when her children — now in their 30s — were small.

    “It’s part of our family tradition,” Toney said. “I grew up in a family of 15 kids and Mom always had room for one more.”

    There’s plenty for volunteers to do. In addition to serving, there’s need for people to pick up guests who can’t drive and deliver meals to the homebound.

    But Toney said there’s an even more intangible task for the willing volunteer.

    “The problem I run into is that everybody wants to serve,” she said. “Well, I only have six ladles.

    “But what I really need people to do is come in and talk to the people who come in to enjoy the meal,” Toney added. “They are there, usually, because they don’t have anywhere else to go and a person could really brighten someone’s day by talking to them.”

    Martins IGA Plus provides poinsettias for table decoration — and to send home with some lucky diners. The ladies from Beta Rho sorority provide treats for each diner. Diabetic treats are available, Toney said.

    Volunteers and diners join together for a round of Christmas carols and sometimes Santa himself even comes around.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-23 crossroads walker.jpg Walking for life

    A group of nine Crossroads Walkers braved temperatures approaching 90 degrees Tuesday to walk from Greenville to Effingham as part of a cross-country walk designed to call attention to the pro-life movement..

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed-Carry-Clothing-Suit-Jacket-400.jpg Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014

  • Jay Miller faces more charges after alleged jailhouse attack

    An Altamont man already facing a minimum of 15 years in prison for contributing to the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman in February could be facing even more prison time after allegedly attacking another inmate in the Effingham County Jail visitation room this past weekend.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIller, Jay C 021314.jpg Jay Miller attacks trial witness

    An Effingham County Jail inmate is facing additional charges after allegedly assaulting another inmate.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vehicle overturns in accident on I-70

    An accident on Interstate 70 sent one driver over a guardrail and down an embankment near Altamont.

    July 20, 2014

  • Three drivers injured in Vandalia accident

    A four vehicle accident in Fayette County sent three drivers to hospitals.

    July 20, 2014

  • preview.jpg Bus delivering school supplies to children

    Through 19 years, two buses and thou­sands of dollars in donations, families in need have been able to do their school shopping for free through the Ramblin’ Rose School Bus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • BRIANBLOOM-300x200.jpg Opinion: Community should be more inclusive in face of fliers

    This past weekend Effingham residents reported that leaflets, placed inside a rock-laden bag, were distributed promoting the mantra of the Ku Klux Klan.
    At least the rocks have a modicum of value.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grand jury indicts woman for bilking child care center

    An Effingham woman was indicted by an Effingham County grand jury this week in connection with the alleged theft of funds from a local early childhood center.

    July 18, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.