More than 250 people were served a hot turkey and ham dinner, and plenty of Christmas joy between 3 and 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Oakhurst Community Center. A long line of eager attendees waited patiently for the doors to open to the seventh annual event.
It was the fifth year that Rebecca Kohout of Coarsegold coordinated the Outpouring Community Christmas Dinner, that was originated in 2009 by Destiny Training Center and the Epicenter Prayer Group.
Kohout had plenty of help starting with her mother and father, Steve and Audrey, and her 13 siblings, some with spouses.
Twelve community volunteer cooking teams provided mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. Grocery Outlet Bargain Market helped by donating seven turkeys, and seven hams. Vons and Raley’s pitched in donating a large supply of breads, pastries, and deserts.
Starbucks provided plenty of coffee, and an additional 30 volunteers worked at the event, including eight members of the sheriff department’s Citizens On Patrol unit.
In addition to the opportunity to present their special requests to Santa, each child received a stuffed animal donated by the Mountain Area Bear Fan Club, a small toy, and a package of Oreo cookies.
Enthusiastic DJ Albert Figueroa of Fig Productions (forevergiving.com), and his wife Gabriella, had more than 20 people dancing, led by the youngest Kohout, 12-year-old Scott.
The atmosphere was festive, and the warmth of the spirit of Christmas could be felt by everyone. It was a great opportunity for the community to come together - old friends reuniting and new friendships made. Republicans and Democrats were even seen exchanging holiday pleasantries.
“I’d like to thank all the volunteers who cooked and helped us during the dinner, and all the merchants and other people from the community that donated and helped make this event possible” Rebecca Kohout said. “It was nice to see all these people and children come together to share a great meal, and the joy of the Christmas season.”