For the past decade, Cindy and Gordon French – owners and operators of the Dairy Queen restaurant in downtown Langley – have been serving up a Christmas feast a few days ahead of the holiday.
This year, they’re anticipating about 500 for dinner.
“For the past 10 years (since they bought the restaurant), we have opened our restaurant with open arms, with a traditional turkey dinner with all of the fixings, and little gifts for the children and elderly,” Cindy said.
It’s not only for the homeless and less fortunate in the community who attend, but the seniors and anyone else who needs Christmas cheer and a little companionship during the holidays, Cindy told the Langley Advance.
“With the continual tough economic conditions, it makes it difficult for Langley’s unfortunate and struggling families, and they need to know that their community this there to help.”
She went on to say it’s for any struggling during the holidays. That might mean financially. That might mean people who are depress or lonely.
“For that one day, it makes everyone feel good,” and that, she said, makes her feel good, noting how appreciative most of the guests are.
Cindy and her team of elves begin in early November each year, putting up posters at local centres and agencies that cater to people who might wish to take part in the dinner.
And about the same time, they reach out to the business community, asking for a little assistance.
“My kids are all grown up and they have everything you can think of,” she said. So, they chose to put that money towards making Christmas bright for others.
Given how big the event is, and how much it has grown through the years, she said they can’t meet the needs without help. She’s hoping other local businesses will be able to assist with donations of food, gifts certificates/cards, gifts for kids, or cash for the project.
“The past few years could not have been a success without the community’s help… we cannot do it alone,” French said, noting they’re accepting donations up until Dec. 15. “Please keep in mind that anything helps.”
The team, which includes the DQ staff plus numerous members of the French family, is already started prepare for the event.
They’ll be serving 16 turkeys, 200 pounds of potatoes, and endless quantities of vegetables, stuffing, and cranberries. To make sure it all comes together, she said, work has to begin early.
This couple is hosting the dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 21. They will open the doors at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 and with the assistance of a few extra tables, they manage to serve up about 500 people by 7:30 or 8 p.m.