Steamboat Realtors’ community dinner serves hundreds Christmas Day |

Steamboat Realtors’ community dinner serves hundreds Christmas Day

Michigan residents Colleen and Gary Klingler go through the food line at the Community Christmas Dinner, which was hosted by the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors on Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.
Matt Stensland

— Around noon on Christmas Day, the Steamboat Springs Community Center was a frenzy of activity, with community members dropping off food and warming the ovens in preparation for more than 30 turkeys, 25 hams, 200 pounds of mashed potatoes and about eight gallons of gravy.

For two and a half hours, the eight volunteer carvers prepared the meat while desserts and sides were placed strategically on the serving table.

For yet another year, the tasty Christmas tradition continued with the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors welcoming the community to a free holiday dinner.

“We all just wanted a way to give back to the community and show the Christmas spirit,” said Ray Wright, one of the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors volunteers who was in charge of the kitchen and who has been participating in the event since it started about 27 years ago.

From 2 to 6 p.m., all community members and visitors were invited to partake in the annual feast that unites about 500 to 600 people each year for a warm Christmas meal and an even warmer spirit of fellowship. This year’s event included live entertainment from the Yampa Valley Boys, singer Dave Maloney and a local piano and guitar player.

“It’s the people that make this event so great, and it’s fun,” said Mix Beauvais, another volunteer at the event. “Every person who comes in says, ‘hello’ and ‘Merry Christmas’; they are always so excited to be here.”

Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors volunteer and organizer Penny Fletcher said the event typically draws a cross-section of the community, including full-time Steamboat residents, out-of-town visitors and college students.

In addition to providing meals at the event, Fletcher said a few volunteers take food to those on call for the holiday, such as police officers, bus drivers and fire department personnel.

“It’s really a time for us to embrace and celebrate our friendships with one another,” Fletcher said. “This event has really blossomed over the years, and it’s really an opportunity for us to thank members of the community but also to give back.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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