COVID-19 has caused this year’s cancellation of an event that is dear to a few hundred city residents.
The annual Al Collett Memorial Christmas Dinner has been cancelled because of the coronavirus, says Roland Aube, one of the main organizers of the event.
“Regretfully, because of COVID we decided not to have it,” says Aube.
“The reason for the dinner was to bring people out in a social environment when they had no one else to be with. Unfortunately, that and this COVID time is dangerous. We don’t want to put people in that.
“We considered the possibility of home deliveries, but even that’s too risky right now.”
In the past, the Christmas dinners attracted more than 400 people. Last year, they served 420, and the previous year there were 450 people.
“We can’t expose people to this.”
He adds that they also have to consider the many volunteers who help out with the event each year.
If they had a dinner, they would have to limit the number of people, “and it defeats the purpose.”
Having spoken to the volunteers, they are all still eager to do it, and they still have the resources to do it, he explains.
However, he expects it will return Christmas of 2021.
“I’m very disappointed that we’re not going to be able to do it.”
He adds that they begin planning the Christmas dinner in mid September. They need to find volunteers, raise money to cover any costs, and it takes scores of hours to get it done, he explains.