Annual Christmas dinner serves up good food, cheer to more than 100 seniors

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More than 100 senior citizens from Chester and the surrounding towns sat down to a festive and hot Christmas meal on Saturday, Dec. 14 in the Chester Andover Elementary School cafeteria. Tables were set with bright green and red tablecloths, bowls of cranberry sauce, baskets of rolls and gift-basket centerpieces.

The annual dinner, which began in the mid-1970s at the Congregational Church in Chester, featured “10 and a half turkeys,” said Pat Budnick, who helps organize the event with a large team of other volunteers. The “half-turkey” she added, was a breast. (Budnick sends thanks to all in this Letter to the editor.)

Local restaurants pitched in with the preparation, including Country Girl Diner, Heritage Deli, the Stone Hearth Inn. And among other donating businesses were Adams Funeral Homes, the Fullerton Inn, Black River Produce and Lisai’s Chester Market.

The CAES kitchen was humming with helpers including Jack Carroll and Nancy and Bill Lindsay, a Chester Select Board member, who helped plate platters of freshly carved turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables that were served to the tables by a cadre of folks. Home deliveries were made in the early afternoon.

Sharon Baker, owner of Country on the Common who also DJ’d, spun carols for the crowd and lead the group in song. And a get well and Merry Christmas card was available for signing for Brian Waldo, the event’s regular emcee who has been out with an injury.

— Cynthia Prairie

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Phil Perlah says:

    Adams Funeral. Contributing to the senior Christmas party. Is this a conflict of interest?