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Murphys Friends Christmas Dinner

On Christmas Day, the community group “Murphys Friends” will be hosting its annual free Christmas Day Dinner, open to anyone and everyone, starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Native Sons Hall in Murphys. The dinner ends around 3 p.m.

Murphys Friends has been inviting the public to the holiday meal for more than 30 years and consistently draws a diverse, amiable crowd sharing in food, drink, presents and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

“Our whole purpose is to have fun,” said Murphys Friends member and District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway.

“People have been coming for years with their families. It’s a nice time for people who also don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with.”

Callaway estimated that as many as 600 people turn out annually to share in the merriment of a small-town holiday meal, and that’s not taking into account the countywide delivery of meals – complete with turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravy, cranberries and dessert – to anyone who makes a request – oftentimes seniors who are unable to physically attend the actual event.

Volunteer Ray Beaudreau will be spending much of his Christmas day as he has for the past 12 years, delivering holiday dinners across Calaveras County. Last year saw the largest number of meals ever delivered, about 175, and as of this week 100 orders had already been placed.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had in my life,” said Beaudreau. “You meet the nicest people and you start to know them after seeing them year after year. Sometimes I’ll help them set their table if they need it; it only takes a minute or two.

“There’s something really special about a small community that can put this all together. The level of commitment from so many people makes this county a special place.”
Beaudreau is hoping to receive delivery assistance from anyone willing to share some Christmas spirit, particularly in the Valley Springs area. If interested in helping deliver Christmas meals to people in a Calaveras County community or if you would like to place an order – preferably prior to Monday, Dec. 24 – contact Beaudreau at 728-2633.

To learn more about the event, call 736-6177.

Article originally published in the Calaveras Enterprise and written by Kristine Williams.  Contact Kristine Williams at kristine@calaverasenterprise.com.

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