By KAREN KANTNER
Assistant Managing Editor
Reservations are being taken for an annual holiday meal which serves hundreds in need in the community.
From its beginnings 16 years ago at Riverview Community Center, formerly the Rec Center, with dinner served for 80, the Miracle Meal has grown to serve approximately 500 during last yearâ€™s meal.
With the slowdown in economic conditions continuing, even more participants are expected for this yearâ€™s meal, which has become a community tradition to which people look forward.
â€śThere is such a need,â€ť said Mary Klock, who is assisting directors Rollie Kent and Tammy Brown, executive director of Mercy Unlimited, to organize the event. â€śItâ€™s amazing how many people really need help in our community. The meal and gift means so much.â€ť
While the meal is free, reservations are required for planning the sit down event held at the Junior Fair Building on the Auglaize County Fairgrounds on Dec. 19.
In addition to the meal, door prizes are awarded to adults and gifts given to all children based on their ages. A local preacher also plans to share a holiday message.
Entertainment, food, gifts and prizes are all donated for the event.
â€śThe cooperation of businesses and the church community have made this possible,â€ť Klock said. â€śTheyâ€™ve been extra supportive of it. Itâ€™s the 16th year and itâ€™s still growing strong.â€ť
She said the event also wouldnâ€™t be possible without the help of the many volunteers who work during the Miracle Meal.
â€śThe meal is a growing holiday community effort by caring individuals, local churches and businesses to share the season with those in the Wapakoneta area who may not have the opportunity to enjoy a festive holiday meal with family and friends,â€ť Klock said.
From its inception the Miracle Meal event has been graciously supported by Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce members in helping provide food, financial help and gifts, she said.