It takes a village to serve a dinner.
This is never more true than with the annual seniors dinner started by George Georgopoulos 36 years ago. And this week, the Cranbrook Rotary Club and the Colombo Lodge in Cranbrook are presenting the famous dinner once again Wednesday, Nov. 29.
The dinner is the largest event for seniors in southeast BC. And this year, the 435 tickets were sold out two weeks ahead of the event, said Ed Murray with the Rotary Club.
Murray said that over the next few days, Rotary Club volunteers are “totally immersed” in preparing the dinner.
“We do the service, we do the preparation, we buy all the food,” Murray said.
Rotary volunteers started on Sunday setting up tables. On Monday they were in the Colombo Lodge kitchen, roasting the turkeys, chopping onions, celery and bacon for the stuffing and making punch. On Tuesday they
were to begin preparing settings.
But along with Rotary’s efforts, the entire community comes together to help put on the dinner.
The 10 25-pound turkeys being roasted for the occasion were donated by Rick’s Meats. That’s enough to serve 435 people, Murray said.
Safeway donates the bread for the stuffing. Kootenay Kwik Print prints the tickets for free, the Heritage Inn sells the tickets. local media offers free advertising. Local individuals and businesses offer donations in kind. The band Old Spice will provide entertainment, also gratis.
The Rotary Club charges five dollars for each ticket. All funds raised from the ticket sales gets turned back into local charities — the Cranbrook Food Bank, the Salvation Army and the Senior Citizen’s Club.
The original founder of the feast himself, George Georgopoulis, 88, was at work in the kitchen on Monday chopping onions. Georgopoulis, who also started the Apollo Restaurant in Cranbrook, launch the annual seniors dinner in 1981.
The seniors dinner is one of the significant events that helps launch the Christmas season in Cranbrook.