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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Volunteers needed for LulaBelle’s free Christmas dinner

  • “This one is really for George (Danforth),” said Mike Ginsberg about the 20th annual free Christmas dinner to be served at LulaBelle’s restaurant, 111 Bird St. Serving in the dining room will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Christmas.


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  • “This one is really for George (Danforth),” said Mike Ginsberg about the 20th annual free Christmas dinner to be served at LulaBelle’s restaurant, 111 Bird St. Serving in the dining room will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Christmas.
    Danforth, who died Dec. 14 at age 87, until last year had coordinated delivery of the Christmas dinners every year since Mike and Pam Ginsberg began providing them. Both Danforth and his late wife, Chickie, had helped for many years.
    “This is the time of year where I saw the most of George, and he is in our thoughts,” Mike Ginsberg said. “He is a very dear old friend, and we miss him terribly. He was such an intricate part of the whole Christmas thing we have done over the years.
    “He was there from the first, and he did the deliveries,” Ginsberg continued. “He wasn’t able to do it last year, but he did help and Todd Lear graciously assumed that responsibility and has agreed to do it again this year.”
    Todd and Ann Lear and their two daughters are among the families who also have helped nearly every year, he said.
    Approximately 150 meals are served at LulaBelle’s dining room each year, and another 500 meals are delivered.
    Call ahead
    for dinner delivery
    The people who regularly have meals delivered from the Hannibal Nutrition Center will be on the list for deliveries unless they have plans to go somewhere on Christmas, Ginsberg explained. “We coordinate through the efforts of the nutrition center, and they notify their people. They are included if they choose to be.”
    Anyone else wanting a meal delivered is requested to call LulaBelle’s at (573) 221-6662 prior to Christmas, so the delivery routes can be planned. “We like everybody to call,” he said. “If they can call ahead of time, it makes it smoother for us.”
    Calls for delivery also are taken on Christmas. “The demand was very heavy last year, and we couldn’t feed the volunteers,” he added, but this was not a problem. “Everybody is very helpful and wants to get everybody fed.”
    The administration and staff of two local nursing homes have volunteered to provide the desserts, Ginsberg reported. They are Willow Care Center and Levering Regional Health Care Center. “We requested 350 portions from each of them,” he said, for a total of 700 servings of dessert.
    The traditional baked ham menu is being served. It includes green bean casserole, au gratin potatoes, salad, roll and butter, and dessert. The dinner is served free, and some diners make a good will donation, he said, to help finance the food. “We could use some donations of cash to defer costs” of the food, Ginsberg said. “Since the food is so specific, we have to have it ordered.”
    Page 2 of 2 - All the dinner preparation, serving and delivery is done by volunteers, Ginsberg said. Some have already offered to help, and more are needed. “We do need volunteers.
    “We need about a dozen teams to deliver. We want our drivers available at 9 a.m., so we can have an idea how many lists to make.”
    People may volunteer in the restaurant for a couple of hours or more, “whatever they can,” Ginsberg said. “People start coming (to eat) at 11. We need help to assemble salads and desserts.
    “We do the best we can with whoever arrives to keep everybody busy and productive,” he explained. Anyone desiring to help is requested to call the restaurant at (573) 221-6662 so he and Pam will know how many will be there.
    Adding he does not want anyone to “turn down time with their family,” he said, “if you show up, we will keep you busy.”
     

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