The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

December 24, 2012

St. Paul’s Christmas Dinner celebrates 30-year tradition

CLINTON — For the 30th year, people with no one to go to on Christmas can have a free meal at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 715 S. Third St.

“Nobody has to be alone,” Roberta Gee, who manages the dining room during the dinner, said.

Church Councilman Keith Oldaker started the dinner 30 years ago. Roberta Jurgersen said Oldaker convinced Ruth Schmidt to do the cooking, which she continued for several years.

“The mission was for folks that didn’t have another place to go Christmas Day,” Pastor Elizabeth Liggett said.

The dinner runs from noon to 2 p.m. in the church’s downstairs room and includes a variety of food items for no charge. The church has an elevator and is handicap accessible. John Obermiller, who cooks for the event, said they typically serve 150 people at the dinner and 65 take out orders.

People who are unable to get to the church by themselves can call 242-4102 to have a meal delivered or see about a ride to the event. People are asked to call as soon as they can. Volunteers agree that they are happy to bring Christmas dinners to those who can not come.

“You deliver a meal to someone who may be otherwise alone, and it’s greatly appreciated,” Liggett said. “It’s a good thing.”

Throughout the years, many volunteers have helped with the dinner. Ashley Fuegen is volunteering at the dinner for the first time this year. She has two small children and wanted to show them the importance of giving back to the community and helping others.

John and Ellyne Obermiller have been volunteering at the dinner for five years. Right before they came to the church, the member who had been working on the dinner for years decided he would not do it any more. John had cooked for big dinners before and decided to help out.

“It feels good to give back and to give to those in need,” John Obermiller said.

Liggett enjoys working at the dinner. She said as a pastor, she often would spend Christmas at her church anyway. When she learned about the dinner when interviewing for the job, she was excited.

“When I interviewed and heard about this I thought, ‘As long as I’m there I’ll never have to worry about where I’ll be at Christmas,” Liggett said.

Liggett also remembers how volunteering to help others can affect a person. She remembers a few years ago when a man from the Quad-City area came to the church’s Christmas Eve service. He was passing through the area and was having a bad year. She told him about the dinner and he asked if anyone could come.

“And I said, ‘Yeah you could come. But you might enjoy working it even more than coming,’” Liggett said.

He came back to the church the next day and worked from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Somewhere she still has a picture of him smiling as he served others.

“By including him on   Christmas, we served him, by including him and having him be a server,” Liggett said.

She has never saw him again. Liggett hopes things turned around for him, though she will probably never know.

“But we were helpful one bad Christmas.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at the dinner can show up at the church anytime after 10 a.m. People are also welcome to bring any pies, cakes or salads.

“No volunteer will ever be turned away,” Jurgersen said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • World Book Night 1 Clinton Public Library hosts largest World Book Night event in the country

    CLINTON -- With more than 21 titles and 800 copies to give away, what reader wouldn't adore an event like World Book Night? Organizers at the Clinton Public Library wondered the same Wednesday, and were pleased with turnout for the third annual event

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials: Future bright for Thomson prison

    FULTON, Ill. -- After more than 12 years of waiting, a long list of broken promises and millions of dollars worth of idle investments, the future is looking a little brighter for the Thomson Correctional Center. Following a $166.3 million federal bud

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 Golf cart tour photo National Wildlife and Fish Refuge to host golf cart tours THOMSON, Ill. -- Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge are hosting Refuge Golf Cart Tours that travel through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The tours are free and open to all ages. Trips are the first and th

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged in meth case CLINTON -- A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 24, 2014

  • Workers Memorial Day 2014 events scheduled CLINTON -- Working families, faith leaders and local officials will gather around Iowa, Friday through Monday, for a vigil to commemorate those who have perished or suffered injuries or illness on the job and to call on Congress to create safe jobs f

    April 24, 2014

  • Coalition alerting parents to underage drinking CAMANCHE -- There are two significant milestones that many students look forward to during their high school careers -- prom and graduation. However, because of bad decision-making, some students will never get to experience those rights of passage

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 Dutch Days Preview Photo Dutch Days: 40 years and counting

    FULTON, Ill. -- A spring-time staple will return for its 40th consecutive year. The community will come together once again May 2 to celebrate Fulton's heritage at the 40th annual Dutch Days Festival. Dutch Days committee chairwoman and City Alderwom

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal CLINTON -- A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea. Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a clas

    April 24, 2014

  • Man charged in meth case

    A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

    Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal

    A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea.

    Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a class D felony. He also was given a sentence of no more than two years in prison for domestic abuse assault, second offense, to be served concurrently.

    April 23, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.