Holiday dinner volunteers needed

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The annual community Christmas dinner is set to bring holiday cheer to Steamboat Springs again this year.

"The community Christmas dinner has become a remarkable event," said Jody Scott of the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, which is sponsoring the dinner.

This year's Christmas dinner will take place from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. It is free and open to everyone.

By Scott's estimates, nearly 400 residents and out-of-town visitors joined last year's Christmas Day festivities. She said the party seems to keep growing.

In addition to the Christmas feast, Scott said the event includes entertainment from near and far: Grammy-nominated musician Brent Rowan and Santa Claus made appearances last year.

During the dinner, Routt County United Way gets children into the act by distributing presents collected through its Toys for Tots program.

"It's a nice, social, warm environment, and the decorations looked great," said Mark Walker, director of operations for Alpine Taxi and a past community dinner attendee. "It gets everyone in the Christmas spirit."

Alpine Taxi is helping to make it easier for people to share the holiday cheer by providing free scheduled rides to and from Yampa, Phippsburg, Oak Creek and Hayden for the Christmas Day dinner. Walker said anyone who wants to use these shuttles should make reservations by calling 879-2800.

Taxi rides also are available on an on-call basis for Steamboat residents who can't drive or take the free bus, Walker said.

Steamboat real estate agents are seeking volunteers to help them cook and serve Christmas dinner throughout the day.

They also need assistance from anyone who wants to donate side dishes such as cranberries, stuffing, potatoes, salads and desserts.

If you are interested in volunteering, call event chairwoman Karen Hughes at 879-8100.

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