Saanich Peninsula Christmas dinner to seat more than 300 people

Three local stores, two helper elves and one boisterous Santa Claus … okay, so it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like the Five Days of Christmas — but the spirit was there!

Santa paid a visit to Sidney’s three grocery stores this week — Save-On-Foods, Thrifty Foods and Fairway Market — to thank them for their contributions to the Community Christmas Day Dinner Dec. 25 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

Aided by helper David Friend (aka Mr. Organic) and accompanied by the News Review, Santa went up and down the aisles , spreading good cheer and news about the annual dinner.

This year, volunteers are expecting around 300 people at two sittings during the Christmas Day Dinner. This year is the 18th annual event, bringing together people who are unable to be with family on Christmas.

Linda Brown of North Saanich gave Santa a donation to pass on to the volunteer group, saying last year was the first Christmas she found herself alone — and attended the dinner.

“It was wonderful,” she said.

The Christmas Day Dinner is on Dec. 25 with two seatings: one at 11:30 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. The hall is quite full, but Santa says no one who shows up will be turned away.

The food is all being donated by the local grocery stores, whose participation each year, said Santa, helps make it all possible.

Santa and Michel Gaudin of Sidney discuss beard length and colour at Fairway Market. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)
Santa and his elf David Friend (aka Mr. Organic) visit with Byron Molloy and his son James at Save-On-Foods. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)
Nancy Smith shares a laugh with Santa at Fairway Market in Sidney. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)
Nettie Smith sits and talks with Santa at Save-On-Foods in Sudney. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)
Satna poses for a selfie with a Fairway Market employee. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

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