WEST CARTHAGE Early into West Carthage Fire Departments second annual Christmas dinner Saturday, Fire Chief Peter M. Crump Jr. estimated the department would see more people than it planned for.
We planned for 300 people, said Mr. Crump. Weve served 375 people. It took a lot of work but we managed.
Last year the dinner fed 194 people.
The free meal provided at the West Carthage Fire Hall on High Street included turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls and pies for dessert. The meal was made possible through the hospitality of a number of sponsors and put together by members of the West Carthage Fire Department, the Womens Auxiliary and the Carthage Area Rescue Squad.
The dinner was organized in 2012 as a means of giving back to a community that has loyally supported the Fire Department, said Mr. Crump. The event brought out citizens young and old, military members and past firemen.
Even Santa made an appearance. Thanks to donations, he was able to provide children with gifts. Old Kris Kringle was later than expected, but just as jolly as ever.
Courtney Slack brought her 14-month-old daughter, Emma, to meet St. Nick.
Im glad she gets to see Santa and be happy ... even though shes not a big fan of Santa Claus, said the mother.
Even 13-year-old Christian D. Hankey sat on Santas lap, although he said the whole thing was more about the community.
I just like celebrating with my friends and family. And knowing that were helping out with other people, he said.
In addition to the meal and visit from Santa, the event had a bounce house and zumba demonstrations, while the Carthage Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry gave out snacks and the SPCA of Jefferson County had a dog and cat on site for visiting.
Instead of asking, today were giving, said food pantry Director Darlene A. Jensen.
Were just here to try and get the word out. The shelter is there, we run on donations, said kennel Manager Jeffrey A. Sherbino.
The shelters friends were female terrier Sandy and the domestic short-haired male, Oliver.
Were trying to make everything better for people at Christmas time, said Mr. Crump of the event. Thank you to everybody that helped make it a success.