Monday, December 17, 2012

Project Hope Holiday Dinner Provides Cheer and More for Those in Need

By Christina Georgiou

More than 500 Easton residents packed the banquet hall at the Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church Sunday evening for Project Hope of Easton's annual holiday dinner and party.

The event, in its 26th year, was so popular that an overflow crowd of more than 100 people waited patiently at the door for well over an hour for the chance to share of the  some of the holiday cheer, which included a meal of turkey, ham and all the trimmings, desserts, presents and candy for the children in attendance plus a photo with Santa, the distribution of coats, scarves, hats and gloves, children's clothing and a bag of groceries to take home so families can recreate the holiday meal privately too.

"This is certainly the biggest crowd we've ever had," said co-organizer Stanley Walker.

The party is made possible entirely from donations from the community and the efforts of about 35 volunteers. Corporate and business sponsors typically donate funds, and members of the public donate toys, clothing, and hand-knitted items through charity knitting groups, as well as cash to make the event possible.

While this year's dinner and party is done, co-organizer Judy Walker noted at a press conference last week that preparations for the event start early and due to the size and scope of the event, take all year to plan. Donations for the 27th annual Project Hope dinner are quite welcome, she said.

For more information about Project Hope of Easton, visit the non-profit organization's website at

Table placemats offered holiday coloring fun.

Volunteers cook and prepare dinner for 500+ guests.

A volunteer whispers something to event organizer Judith Walker.

Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, who volunteered for the party,
passes out goodie bags for the adults.

Organizer Dr. Stanley Walker talks with a volunteer manning the
food line.

Organizer Steve Sterner carries more ham out from the kitchen.

Both Mayor John Callahan from Bethlehem and Easton Mayor
Sal Panto volunteered to help out for the holiday party.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto passed out lollipops to young guests
at Project Hope of Easton's holiday dinner on Sunday.


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