By Jeanne Sager
LIBERTY December 31, 2002 Folks in Liberty can start the New Year off right.
Rather than spending the first holiday of 2003 alone, the Liberty Diner and St. Pauls Lutheran Church will be offering a free meal to anyone alone on Wednesday afternoon.
The dinner is actually a late addition to the churchs calendar usually several Liberty area civic organizations put together a holiday meal in mid-December to kick off the season.
But according to Mae Nidds, a deacon at St. Pauls, somebody dropped the ball this year, and the date of the dinner came and went.
So church officials decided to plan the event for Wednesday afternoon they usually hand out meals to the needy on Wednesday evenings, and the holiday fit in nicely with their plans.
The owners of the Liberty Diner agreed to furnish a traditional Christmas meal with all the trimmings.
I dont think anything goes on on New Years Day, Nidds explained. And this is not only for the needy, but people who are alone or just want to be together in the community.
Nidds, who lost her husband this year, faced this holiday season with a fear in her heart. But the invitations that flooded her home for holiday get-togethers lifted her spirits, she said, and this dinner could do the same for the many area residents who face the day alone.
It was such a warm feeling to be able to go out for Christmas, Nidds revealed.
I think it gives them a tremendous lift to know someone cares, she added. Its wonderful, especially when the children come.
Its more important not to have these big days alone.
The dinner will begin at 1 p.m. at the church, which is located on Chestnut Street next to the Liberty Post Office.
The tables will be covered with turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing and all the trimmings. Usually the holiday meal includes a visit to the homebound, but Nidds was unable to pull together the resources for traveling.
Anyone interested in picking up takeout meals for area invalids will be welcomed with open arms, she said, because thats what the holiday spirit is all about.
So often we get caught up in the festivities, but forget the meaning of the holidays, she said. This is about bringing the community together and making the community aware of those in need.
For more information, call Mae Nidds at 434-4075. Dinner will be held at 1 p.m. at St. Pauls, 24 Chestnut Street, Liberty.