In its fourth year, the community outreach is expected to host about 2,500 guests. Sponsored by the White-based tire manufacturer, the Toyo Tire Community Christmas Luncheon aims to provide a meal and a little holiday cheer to those in need each year just before Christmas.
“We have the Community Christmas Luncheon, sponsored mainly by Toyo Tire, in order to provide a Christmas meal to those that may not have a Christmas meal during the holiday season and it just gives us an opportunity to get together and celebrate Christmas with a traditional holiday meal,” said event organizer Tina Jennings. “This is the highlight of my Christmas season every year to be able to spend this day serving the community.
“I look forward to this every single year. It’s really the highlight of the season and it’s a huge blessing to be a part of.”
The Christmas luncheon this year also will include a coat give away and plenty of entertainment.
“We’re anticipating about 2,500 this year and that’s about what we had last year,” Jennings said. “It’s really just a fun day for everyone to get together. We’ll have a DJ, we’ll have the Bartow County Bootscooters, Rick McKee will be singing and we’ll have sing-along Christmas carols.
“We’ll also be giving out coats. We’ve had a lot of people donate coats and, of course, anyone who would like to donate gently-used clean coats, we’d be glad to take them off their hands.”
In addition to coats, event organizers are seeking homemade desserts and volunteers. As the luncheon has grown, so too have volunteer efforts and support from the community has been strong in past years. Last year, nearly 400 volunteers contacted organizers seeking to help donate, serve and entertain.
“We are looking for volunteers, and not only volunteers, but also people who would like to donate desserts,” Jennings said. “We still need about 100 volunteers. We typically have about 150. Last year when we put out the word, we had about 400 respond. So we’ve waited a little later this year to reach out.”
The Dec. 15 meal will consist of holiday staples, including turkey, ham, sweet potato souffle, mashed potatoes and gravy, assorted vegetables, homemade vegetables, tea and water.
To-go plates also are available for churches wishing to deliver meals to homebound members. Church representatives should call Jennings by Wednesday, Dec. 12, to reserve plates, which can be picked up at 11 a.m. on the day of the event.
Bartow Transit will be providing transportation for the event for guests calling 770-387-5165 at least 24 hours in advance.
For more information or to volunteer, call Jennings at 678-899-9525.
The fourth annual Toyo Tire Community Christmas Luncheon will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering guests a free meal, entertainment and a coat, if needed, at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St.