What began 33 years ago in Paul Titus’s barber shop has grown into an annual tradition in Lewis County.
Titus and Tom Fealy knew tenants in Titus’s building were homebound and he brought them dinner. Now, the Christmas dinner, which takes place at the Lewis County Senior Center, serves families and others looking for fellowship and a hot meal.
Dan Mick serves as president of the Lewis County Christmas Dinner, Inc. This is a non-profit set up specifically for the annual dinner. Mick said roughly 800 meals were served this year, which is about average.
“People like you to visit. The dinner was started to help homebound people and the less fortunate,” Mick said.
Mick said that without volunteers this event would not be possible. Volunteers not only serve guests inside, but deliver meals all over the county.
“The volunteers were great this year,” he added.
Some of those volunteers worked through the weekend prior to Christmas preparing food. The Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary cooked and deboned 32 turkeys. Fifteen hams were also prepared for the dinners.
Mick became involved with the dinner after Titus and Fealy had asked for his help in making biscuits and potatoes as Mick worked for KFC. He now buys products from KFC to help make the dinner a success.
Mick added that KFC store manager in Weston, Heather Whitehair, made all the mashed potatoes this year.
This year, Mick said a woman called requesting five meals. She had no money and had been sick. She was in tears. Another call came in from a family in Buckhannon whose water heater had quit working.
“It’s really nice to be able to help,” Mick said.
There were some leftovers this year, including fruit, meat, potatoes, rolls, and desserts. One volunteer just happened to be LC Family Resource Network Director Deanna Palmer who happily took the extras to replenish the food pantry.
“I had been a little concerned about shortages, but this helps. Fruit is rarely something we have,” Palmer said.
The food was distributed last week and this week.
The Lewis County Christmas Dinner, Inc. is already looking for donations for the 2019 dinner, as the cost is approximately $3,500 each year.
Donations can be mailed to The Lewis County Christmas Dinner, Inc. P.O. BOX 1012, Weston, WV 26452. Donations can also be made at United Bank, where the non-profit maintains an account.