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Community Christmas Dinner will be delivery or pick-up only

Meal delivery requests must be made in advance by calling Cannon at 218-732-2981 or Lynn Spilman at 320-333-6522. The deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 22. UPDATE: The meal will not include ham or salad this year. The article has been corrected to reflect this.

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Lynn Spilman bustles behind the scenes of the annual Christmas dinner.

Planning is underway for the 33rd annual Community Christmas Dinner. Once again, there will be no in-person dining at the Park Rapids American Legion. Meals will only be delivered or curbside pick-up, “with hopes we can return to indoor dining in 2022,” say co-organizers Sara Gallus and Lori Cannon.

The Community Christmas Dinner is open to all. There is no charge for the meal, but freewill offerings are welcome.

Meal delivery requests must be made in advance by calling Cannon at 218-732-2981 or Lynn Spilman at 320-333-6522. The deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 22.

A heaping plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, dinner roll and christmas cookie treat will be dished up.

Meal deliveries will begin Christmas Day at 11 a.m. Curbside pick-up will be available between 11:30 a.m and 1 p.m. at the Park Rapids American Legion on Christmas Day. Organizers ask guests to follow the signs in the parking lot to help ease the flow of traffic. You do not need to pre-order for curbside delivery.

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Donations via mail are also appreciated. Checks can be sent to Community Christmas Dinner Fund, c/o American Legion Post #212, P.O. Box 143, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

Gallus said, “Your donations to the annual Christmas Dinner will go a long way in making many of our neighbors in our community being able to pick-up or have delivered a hot meal on Christmas Day, especially during this trying year we have had.”

Net proceeds will be donated to nonprofits in the Park Rapids area.

Volunteers are needed to deliver meals. To get involved, contact Spilman at 320-333-6522.

The holiday dinner was originally started by the Bob Kriss family, who owned the Great Northern Cafe, and has continued going strong for more than three decades by committed volunteers. Their motto is “No one should spend Christmas Day hungry or alone.”

Last year, they served roughly 860 guests from the Park Rapids area. Of those guests there were 400 home-delivered meals and 460 curbside pickup meals on Christmas Day.

“We truly wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope that the New Year will bring peace and good health to all!” said Cannon and Gallus.

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