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‘Friends’ to host Christmas dinner for elderly, disabled

By Angela Hayes | Special to the Advertiser

Friends of the Elderly will be hosting their second annual free Christmas dinner for those 55 and over and the disabled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Clanton Skating Rink.

Along with enjoying a wonderful turkey dinner complete with sides and dessert, courtesy of Peach Park, guests will be able to have their picture made with Santa and to hear a telling of the Christmas story.

What began as a conversation among friends soon turned from complaints into a solution.

Recognizing that the elderly are often overlooked and that the holidays can be a sad time, Cindy Varden and her friends came up with the idea of a hosting a community Christmas dinner as a way to get the elderly and disabled out into their community, allow them to be with friends and to meet new people.

Previously known as Angels for the Elderly, the group, with the help of many other individuals, are able to provide a small gift in addition to the warm meal.

Last year, Friends of the Elderly were able to gift socks, gloves, nail care kits, and/or wrap blankets.

“We wanted them to have an essential item—one they would get use out of,” Varden said. “Quite a few individuals—way too many to name—are real kind and have an amazing heart. We are entirely thankful for each and every one.

“Patricia Scruggs, owner of the Clanton Skating Rink, donated the use of the snack area. Brandi Murr is volunteering her time and heart. We’ve had multiple individual donations, including those from (Probate Judge) Bobby Martin and Chilton Feed and Seed. Bob Haggard will be telling the Christmas story, and Judson Messer will be playing Santa.”

Varden said she would also like to thank Clanton Elementary School librarian Shelly Bice, who had the students make Christmas cards.

“They were a big hit,” Varden said. “They were enjoyed the best (last year), and it was so sweet of the children to take the time to hand make the cards.”

To find out how you can help, to RSVP for the event, or for more information, call Varden at (205) 294-4433.