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Amvets Post 4 opens its doors for Christmas dinner

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MASSENA - Amvets Post 4, 12 Andrews St., Massena will be opening its doors on Wednesday to serve their annual community Christmas dinner.

The free meal, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m., is organized by the Amvets, their Auxiliary and the Sons of Amvets. It includes a full turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing gravy, cranberries, beans, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie.

Amvets Commander James Gardner said the meal gives those who are alone at Christmas a chance to enjoy some company and a good home-made meal.

“We try to give a little back to the community, so we’ve been doing it for about nine years,” he said.

The meal is open to everyone, according to Mr. Gardner. The post had served 343 people in 2011, and they set up for 350 last year.

“There are a lot of people that are shut-ins and people that are all alone, especially the elderly. We try to encourage them to come down and eat and to be with people. They come down and talk with people who maybe they hadn’t seen in a year or more,” he said.

Take-outs are also available and, for the elderly and shut-ins who can’t make it to the post, volunteers will deliver their meal to them.

“We have somebody there that takes all the delivery calls. That’s all she does. We have other people volunteer to take right off and take the deliveries out,” Mr. Gardner said.

Meals are also delivered to members of local service agencies who are working Christmas Day, such as the Massena Police Department, Massena Volunteer Fire Department, Massena Rescue Squad and New York State Police.

“If they’re there, then it gives them a chance to eat,” he said.

There promises to be plenty of food to go around, according to the Amvets commander, who said they have 14 turkeys.

“My wife started cooking the turkeys today,” he said Monday.

“We were lucky this year,” he added. “Normally we buy them. We went to Walmart to buy them and Walmart was gracious enough to give us a $75 gift certificate to help buy the turkeys. It was a great help for us. That’s their way of helping out.”

Pies will also be plentiful, Mr. Gardner said.

“Some of them are making two or three pies and donating them,” he said.

All together, about 10 to 12 people will be volunteering, whether it’s to peel potatoes on Tuesday or man the kitchen on Wednesday.

“One guy has been doing it with us for seven years, he and his daughter,” Mr. Gardner said. “We are just plain lucky to have all these people that are willing to help.”

For delivery on Wednesday, call 764-0686.Xxx

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