The 2012 Bridgewater Community Christmas Dinner saw another very successful event on Christmas Day. With over 220 volunteers this year there was no shortage of inspired assistance for the dinner. Along with volunteers (those who are present during dinner time also eat a meal) we served 400 free turkey or vegetarian dinners at Parkview Education Centre and delivered 15 meals to individuals who could not come out to the meal.
With some improved systems and some dedicated lead volunteers the dinner felt like the smoothest so far. We are definitely learning each year and applying that. This year, to Misty, our head cook’s delight, all the food was plated and served to guests in 12 minutes (a world record we think!). Following that servers picked up their own plate and platers served themselves and sat down, which would mean the whole hall eating within about 15 minutes!
What we are hearing in the community after 4 years is that for some–this is their Christmas. They look forward to it every year. They come for the fellowship and community. They come because they celebrate Christmas, or they come because they’re trying to find new meaning in Christmas. They come as families with small children or teens, they come as individuals, they come because this is becoming their Christmas tradition. We have young adult students home for the holidays, we have teens who want to serve, we have seniors who continue to have a lot to give the community.
Here are some comments from our feedback forms:
What was your highlight?
- Not being with family but feeling part of a family
- Seeing such a variety of age groups – a wonderful community spirit – great entertainment
- The sense of community and the overall atmosphere that was so welcoming and accepting of everyone. I loved meeting everyone at my table
- 1st year volunteer – impressed by the precision – well done
- I thoroughly enjoyed delivering the meals with Bridgewater Police Service – the officer was nice to the clients and volunteers. The clients truly appreciated the delivery. We may have been their only visitors on this day.
- The amazing group of people and community involvement
- Attending and volunteering with my granddaughter
- It was meeting people from a far. Very interesting. Pennsylvania, Maine, Ontario, lovely
- Hoping to see this commradarie and vibrant community spirit in Cafe 12
- The quiet revolution that’s taking place
Thank you to all the volunteers, guests, businesses, community organizations and individuals who peeled, chopped, donated, loaned equipment or tables, promoted the event or scrubbed 400+ dishes!!
Check out the BCC website
A follow-up to the last post about Cafe 12 coming to Bridgewater…
It’s been on the down low for most of the year, but yesterday evening Cafe 12 Bridgewater had a Great Unveiling at a public meeting with Town Council. The seats were packed with over 35 people present as we shared our proposal to Town Council.
Our request is to lease the Bridgewater Library Building when the current Library moves into the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in 2013. The Library’s move could have the result of another empty building on King Street–or it can be seized as an opportunity of new life to an iconic Bridgewater building.
Cafe 12 is a non-profit corporation, a network of cafes shaped by the gifts of individual communities, where all ages love to gather. It’s staff are trained experts and inviting neighbours to get involved in community building in ways that encourage creativity, leadership and enterprise. The result–a thriving community.
In Bridgewater we have a design team of 12 who have been working hard over the past month to get a proposal together for council, which was generally well received. We’ve also built some great relationships with community agencies, individuals and supporters. Some of those include: Lighthouse Media Group, the Police Department, Lunenburg District Office of Community Services, United Way, Wildwood Cafe, the Bridgewater Development Association, and South Shore Public Libraries, and more!
Bridgewater Town Council asked some great questions, and what was most awesome was that other council members or town staff responded to the questions, showing support among council and staff for the vision and concept. The next steps will be to meet with town staff to answer their questions, work out details of the proposal and work towards a lease agreement that is acceptable to both groups.
We later celebrated this milestone by the river, with cake!