The Community Christmas Day Dinner – a long-time tradition at White Rock’s First United Church – is now held at White Rock Baptist Church. File photo

The Community Christmas Day Dinner – a long-time tradition at White Rock’s First United Church – is now held at White Rock Baptist Church. File photo

Reservations now open for annual Community Christmas Day Dinner

Popular White Rock-South Surrey celebration now in its 40th year

Phone reservations are being taken, starting today (Friday, Nov. 8) for an enduring tradition – White Rock and South Surrey’s Community Christmas Day Dinner.

The event, formerly held at the White Rock’s First United Church and now going into its third year at White Rock Baptist Church (1657 140 St.), is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The volunteer-organized traditional turkey-and-trimmings dinner, held on the afternoon of Christmas Day, is open, free of charge, to anyone who wants to “share the warmth of Christmas with neighbours, family and friends” – although donations to help keep the event going year-to-year are always gratefully accepted.

The only proviso is that seating is by reservation only (and due to limited seating, booking well in advance is recommended).

Members of the White Rock Youth Ambassador program are always there to lend a hand and welcome guests – and singing Christmas songs, goodie bags and a visit from ‘Santa’ are all part of the seasonal fun.

Originally organized by White Rock city gardener George Bryant, Rev. Howard Filsinger and other community-minded volunteers – including architect Chip Barrett – the event was designed to make sure there was Christmas cheer for those who might otherwise feel “alone or lonely” on the holiday.

But the event has been embraced over the years by many – no matter what their circumstances – who eagerly look forward to renewing their own connection with the community each Christmas Day.

And although both Bryant and Filsinger have passed, members from both of their families will be present at this year’s anniversary dinner to help ensure that the tradition continues.

Reservations and booking of rides to and from the event for those without transportation are handled by Sources Community Resource Centres.

To reserve a place at the table and transportation (if necessary) call 236-668-6058.