PEKIN, Ill. — A holiday tradition over three decades-long is still going strong.
The Pekin Township Hall continued to draw in an eager crowd Wednesday to its annual Christmas meal.
The day started with packing and sending donated food to over a hundred homebound senior citizens throughout the town and concluded with a meal in the town hall for those around the community to come and enjoy.
The event’s supervisor Janet Homerin said putting the meal together and serving so many people wouldn’t be possible without all of the volunteers that continue to help out. She said the plan simply started with wanting to include seniors in holiday activities.
“The whole idea was to make sure seniors weren’t left out at home during the holiday meals,” Homerin said.
Homerin said the idea soon became wanting the rest of the community to take part. She said everything from the food to the silverware was donated and she simply looks forward to anyone who can attend, coming to enjoy the holiday season together.
“We like for them to come down so they can have a little camaraderie and share a meal together and spread a little Christmas spirit,” Homerin said.
The camaraderie that Homerin spoke about is something Joe and Helen Beach said they enjoy the most about coming to the meals. The couple said they’ve attended the Christmas meal for about a decade
“It’s nice of them to give you a meal like this every year,” Joe Beach said. “It’s just something to do different.”
Helen Beach said one of the things she enjoys the most when she comes is listening to the various stories people have to tell.
“We get to meet new people sometimes,” Helen Beach said. “We hear all sorts of interesting stories. You know everyone has their story especially the veterans.”
Overall, Helen said she’s the most appreciative knowing Pekin provides a place for those who may need it the most during the holidays.
“It really helps out because some people don’t have a meal,” Beach said. “This is a nice hot meal, it’s a nice warm place to come in and get out of the weather, so it helps a lot.”