Christmas lunch caters for all

BACKPACKERS, families, older people and volunteers gathered side-by-side to celebrate Christmas Day together.

The 16th annual Orange Community Christmas Lunch was held at Orange Function Centre with more than 300 diners in attendance.

It didn’t matter if you were from Finland picking cherries in Orange, or an older person with no one left to celebrate with, they were all invited.

Lunch volunteer co-ordinator John Webb said it was a “very, very happy occasion”.

“There was a group from House with No Steps in Cowra, [cherry] pickers from Finland, France and New Zealand,” he said.

“[There were] lots and lots of older people who don’t have anyone else to have Christmas with.”

Mr Webb said the free event included a lunch with “all the Christmas trimmings”.

The dessert table was very popular with pavlova, apple and berry pies and pudding all topped with ice-cream, custard or cream.

To ensure the event was a success an army of more than 100 volunteers gave up their own family time to help out.

“The make-up of the helpers was really diverse,” he said.

“There was students from high schools and university, and lots of mums and their daughters came to help out.

“You couldn’t possibly do it without them ... I’m so proud of all the helpers.”

Mr Webb said he was proud there was a wonderful mix of people at the event.

“I’m so proud we were able to help people and give them a lovely Christmas Day,” he said.

“It’s extremely important to make them feel that someone cares for them and to be able to share.”

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