Andrew Laker | The Republic - Volunteers Pete King, left, Alicia Newton and Phil Newton help serve Christmas day dinner Saturday at St. Peter's Lutheran Church. More than 100 people volunteered for jobs ranging from deliveries to scooping up green beans.
The Howes made the annual Christmas feast at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church a family tradition four or five years ago.
Turkey. Ham. Noodles. Cole slaw. Mashed potatoes with gravy. Desserts to soothe the palate.
Gerald, Janet, M.J., Michael, Becky and Judy loved every bite.
“We like the food and the people,” said Janet Howe, who lives with husband, Gerald, in Hope.
Open to the public, the 10th annual meal Saturday served a record number of people, with more than 650 meals for delivery alone.
Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett, an event founder, described the day as a heartwarming “mad house” of smiling faces and Christmas spirit.
More than 100 people volunteered for jobs ranging from deliveries to scooping up green beans.
Steve Monroe, who finished his meal with a slice of sugar cream pie, said he appreciates that people think of Columbus’ less fortunate population year after year.
Monroe was laid off from a manufacturing job five years ago and has not found other employment.
Rita Divine, of Columbus, came alone but enjoyed talking with those who sat at the same table.
“The best were the noodles,” said Divine, referring to one of the event’s first-time dishes. “I think this is some of the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had.”
New Hope Christian Church near Taylorsville also hosted a holiday meal.
Five soldiers from Camp Atterbury attended, said Patty Lowe, whose family organized the event.
The family had put out a general invitation to soldiers with the understanding that some would not be traveling home to see their families for Christmas.
Randy Nelson, 20, of Memphis, Tenn., said he decided to stay here because of the high cost to fly and the fact that he would have to come right back again.
“I’m glad there were some people willing to take a chance on us,” he said.
The family invited patrons of Horizon House, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, Love Chapel and Eastside Community Center in Columbus.
None showed up, leaving the meal only to the soldiers and the family and church members who volunteered to help.
“It’s still a success,” Lowe said.
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