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Bear River volunteers serve up free community Christmas supper

A group of Bear River volunteers served a free community supper on Christmas Day.
A group of Bear River volunteers served a free community supper on Christmas Day.

BEAR RIVER – Christmas means a little bit more in Bear River.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."

"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

A group of local volunteers put on a free supper on Christmas Day to make sure everyone had a little company and cheer.

The 15 volunteers fed 60 people at the Bear River Legion and had carols and trombone music and even a performance by Bob Snider.

“Everybody was so excited we did something in Bear River where the whole community could come and sit and be together,” said organizer Crystal Melanson.

For Melanson, it all started as she thought about the upcoming holiday season.

“Last year we never left the house or even got out of our pajamas,” she said. “It was going to be a quiet Christmas and I didn’t want that – I wanted to do something with a lot of people instead.

A group of local volunteers put on a free supper on Christmas Day to make sure everyone had a little company and cheer.

The 15 volunteers fed 60 people at the Bear River Legion and had carols and trombone music and even a performance by Bob Snider.

“Everybody was so excited we did something in Bear River where the whole community could come and sit and be together,” said organizer Crystal Melanson.

For Melanson, it all started as she thought about the upcoming holiday season.

“Last year we never left the house or even got out of our pajamas,” she said. “It was going to be a quiet Christmas and I didn’t want that – I wanted to do something with a lot of people instead.

“That’s how my mother always wanted it – a full table.”

Melanson was talking this over with her friend Sherry White and they talked about how Christmas can be sad for people who are alone.

They posted the idea of a Christmas supper on Facebook asking if anyone would like to help or come to such an event.

“Right away about 15 people wanted to help and within 20 minutes we had almost too many volunteers,” says Melanson. “It just started to snowball - a lady called and wanted to donate a turkey, and then other lady called to give us a turkey, and then we had 50 pounds of potatoes, we had squash, turnip, so many people just came out of the woodwork and really wanted to help – that was an amazing gift for me – seeing how many people out there wanted to help.”

All the food for the supper was donated and people at the dinner stuffed another $650 into a donation jar for next year.

A group of Bear River volunteers served a free community supper on Christmas Day.

Melanson asked a group of young people to serve and at first some of them weren’t sure about volunteering on Christmas Day.

“Some of them were hesitant until I explained what it was for and then they were all more than ready to jump in and help,” she said. “The older people love to be served by young people and everyone had such a good time – I think it was a Christmas present for the young people that they didn’t expect.”

Melanson said she received many hugs in thanks and many people were talking about it the next day.

“People were saying how wonderful it was and asking if we’re going to do it again next year,” said Melanson. “We definitely will.”

Bob Snider sang Bear River Friday Night, “and the only law that gets respect is hats off in the Legion” at the Bear River Legion on Christmas Day.

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