Danville Christmas Dinner, an Annual Tradition for Attendees and - WSET.com - ABC13

Danville Christmas Dinner, an Annual Tradition for Attendees and Volunteers

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Danville, VA--  It's a long-standing tradition in Danville, and on Wednesday it reached a major milestone.

For 25 years now, the community has rallied together to provide a Christmas meal for those less fortunate. Hundreds flocked to the Danville Community Market  for the annual Christmas dinner.

It all started with two men.

"In 1989 two members from St. Luke's felt a need to serve the needy in Danville, and they got together and started something called the Christmas Cookout down at the old farmers market, and it's kind of evolved over the years to this," said Cheryl Sutherland, Chairperson of Community Christmas Dinner.

To hundreds packing out the Danville Community Market for a full course Christmas dinner.

"We had ham string beans, corn, potatoes and gravy and we had cake," said Tonya Curry, an attendee.

Organizers said several families have made this event an annual tradition.

"We have people that we've watched grow up, we've watched their kids grow up over the years, and they look forward to coming on Christmas day," said Sutherland.

"I've been here three or four times," said Curry.

"This is my third time," said Danielle Curry.

But it's not only those receiving that keep coming back. Volunteers have also made this a tradition.

 "I've been doing this for 13 years," said Chris Dunlap, a volunteer.

"I love doing things like this, helping the people out,"said Qonell Totten, a volunteer.

But the giving doesn't stop with the food. After the meal everyone heads over to the other part of the community market where they can get lots of gifts to help them stay warm during the winter months.

"We're giving out blankets, gifts, stockings and coats to anybody that showed up that considers themselves in need," said Sutherland. 

"I feel like I'm being blessed by just being here," said Sue Wells, an attendee.

"If you can do something little, it doesn't have to monetary, but show that you care, that can go a long way to inspire people to be great," said Xavier Warren, a volunteer.

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