Volunteers Expect a Big Crowd for Holiday Meal - WBAY

Volunteers Expect a Big Crowd for Holiday Meal

Appleton -

For people who have no place to go on Christmas the Moose Lodge in Appleton will be open for a free meal and companionship.

A large crowd is expected.

Taking time out on Christmas Eve to give back, Ed Rathsack and other volunteers at the Moose Lodge in Appleton put the final touches on a free holiday meal that's been a tradition for the past 28 years.

"It makes me feel good knowing that people who are lonely are going to get a chance to sit and talk. It isn't just feeding a guy dinner, it's trying to give them the opportunity to have companionship and friendship for the holiday," said Rathsack. 


This year Rathsack is getting some extra help from the Appleton Noon Optimist Club.

They've donated gift bags for each kid who shows up containing various goodies.

"I think it's wonderful that there's so many people here in the community that need this and we can help to be a part of it and provide this for them. I feel like we're so blessed so we just need to be able to share that with other people," said Kelli Arndt, whose a member of the club. 

The lodge expects to serve more than two thousand meals on Christmas. About 250 volunteers have signed up to help serve and make home deliveries.

Covering the cost of the meal isn't always easy which in the past has come close to being canceled.

Rathsack said, "Last year we ran short but ended up taking a small loan that we paid back. My wife gave up our holiday vacation I should say and this year we're running a little short again but we'll manage somehow."

The lodge will open Christmas day at 11AM and serve until around 2PM.  To request a home delivery, call the Moose Lodge at (920) 731-7867. 

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