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West Carthage first responders offering free holiday dinner

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WEST CARTHAGE — Taking the lead from the Elks and Lions community Thanksgiving dinner, the village Fire Department is spearheading a community Christmas dinner.

“The less fortunate and those who are alone, like the military, are not just lonely at Thanksgiving; they feel that way at Christmas, too,” said Peter M. Crump Jr., dinner organizer. “So we talked about starting a tradition like what the Elks and Lions do at Thanksgiving but at Christmas on this side” of the bridge.

Mr. Crump said he discussed the idea with Mayor Scott M. Burto, Michelle Burr, president of the Carthage Area Rescue Squad, and representatives of the fire department auxiliary.

“They were all on board, so we’re going to run with it,” the organizer said, noting the three first-responder groups would split the cost of the free dinner. “Members of the village board, fire fighters and members of CARS will help prepare and serve the food.”

The turkey dinner with all the fixings is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 16, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Mr. Crump said based on the number that has been served at the Thanksgiving dinner, he is expecting 200 guests at the community room at the village municipal building, 61 High St. He said Santa will be in attendance.

“We encourage the military to come, enjoy a free meal and maybe meet some friends,” Mr. Crump said.

Organizers are asking people to donate desserts. To arrange for pickup or delivery, call Mr. Crump at 489-1168 or Lawrence A. Hall Jr. at 771-5888.

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