200 Rindge seniors gather to enjoy annual holiday dinner, festivities
Deb Sawyer serves Paul and Diane Courtemanche at the Rindge Senior Holiday Dinner at Hidden Hill Banquet Facilties Thursday night. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)
RINDGE - The Senior Holiday Dinner this year reached an all-time high with 200 guests attending the annual festivities at the Hidden Hill Banquet Facilities Thursday night.
The annual holiday feast, which is free to Rindge seniors, was started over a decade ago by a former town administrator, Recreation Director Craig Fraley said. The first year was held in the Rindge Meeting House for about 25 seniors, he said.
As the dinner grew in popularity and attendance, it moved first to the Rindge Recreation Center and then, more recently, to the Hidden Hills Banquet Facilities. Owner Mark A. Hagemeyer donates the banquet hall for the night.
Hagemeyer, who also runs Four Star Catering, caters the dinner with a crew of volunteers.
"It's a community event in the sense that every one in the community comes out and helps out and donates their time for it," Fraley said. "It's also great to see all the seniors who come out all dressed up for the festive dinner," he said.
State representative John Hunt and his wife Linda were amount the volunteers waiting on the guests.
Server Deb Sawyer said volunteering at the dinner has been a Christmas tradition for her for years now.
"It's more about Christmas to be able to do that for them," she said, adding that it's great to see a "full house."
Turkey with all the trimmings was served followed by a traditional New England Apple Crisp for dessert. The Chair City Pipers of Gardner, Mass., provided the entertainment.
Along with serving the seniors at the hall, about a dozen meals were delivered to homebound seniors. Hannaford's supermarket in Rindge donates turkeys to the event every year. This year, C&S Wholesale of Keene also donated a turkey, Fraley said.
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