Christmas dinner draws hundreds in Steamboat Springs |

Christmas dinner draws hundreds in Steamboat Springs

— On Christmas Day in Steamboat Springs, there is no excuse for anyone to go hungry.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people steadily made their way to the Steamboat Springs Community Center for the Community Christmas Dinner put on by the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors.

The Board of Realtors had 27 turkeys smoked, and members of the real estate community brought in another 15 turkeys and 30 hams. There were dozens of trays of traditional sides, including mashed potatoes and stuffing.

“We have a ton of food,” said Ray Wright, who has volunteered at the event for the past “20-some” years. “We just need a lot of people to come eat now. Hopefully, they’ll come by the hundreds.”

Some of those unable to attend the event eventually would be getting a hearty meal. For the second year, food was going to be packed into coolers and shuttled up at night to the snowcat drivers putting down corduroy for skiing Thursday.

Wright and the other kitchen helpers arrived at noon at the Community Center to get the food ready.

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“There were, like, six of us back here cutting turkeys,” Wright said.

“That’s what people keep on telling me,” Coldwell Banker broker Lorraine Morrison said. Morrison was in charge of this year’s event.

Morrison said the planning for the dinner began a month ago.

“This is our chance to give back to the community and put on our aprons and do another kind of service,” Morrison said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been a really fun kind of work.”

Yampa Valley Boys band members John Fisher and Steve Jones provided some of the festive music.

“We like to tell our tourists calories don’t count over 6,000 feet,” Fisher said to the crowd between songs.

Steamboat residents Paula and Mark Robinson sat at a table waiting for friends before getting dinner. They decided to come to the event this year because they did not have any family in Colorado, and none of their friends wanted to do a big spread.

“We invited people to our house, and they said, ‘No, we’re going to the Community Dinner,'” Mark Robinson said.

The kids at the event put on big grins and wide eyes when former longtime Yampa Valley resident Robert Sawer walked into the room dressed as Santa Claus. He made the drive over to Steamboat with his brother Bill Sawer.

Robert Sawer handed out suckers to the kids and belted out several “Ho ho hos” as he made his way through the food line after a very busy night.

“I decided to come to town just for this,” he said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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