The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 8, 2012

Masonic Lodge prepares for 30th annual Christmas dinner

OTTUMWA — The Masonic Lodge’s annual Christmas dinner brings together hundreds in the community to share in good food and good company.

“We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we’ve served thousands of dinners,” said Chuck Osing. “We deliver to the shut-ins, and we make home deliveries.”

Osing started the dinners with Eugene Aldrich, of Centerville, in 1982, and he’s been at every single dinner since.

“We thought there was a need for some of the people who didn’t have a place to go for Christmas and were by themselves,” he said.

But it expanded, said Charles Wilt, with the Masons even serving 1,500 people at the dinner one year, compared to around 100 at the very first dinner.

“It’s gotten bigger and bigger every year, and then it just exploded,” Osing said.

The Masons have been working on preparing the meals for a couple of months already, but there’s still a lot to do in the final weeks before the big day.

“The merchants help us a lot,” Osing said, as they receive a lot of donations for the mountains of food.

The smell of bacon drifted through the Masonic Empire Lodge on Church Street Friday afternoon as they prepared for a Community 1st Credit Union dinner set for today that will serve approximately 150 people. They definitely have experience serving large numbers of people, Osing said with a grin.

Osing hopes the dinners will continue for a long time. He also hopes the Masons will be able to recruit younger people, as the current Masons get older, to carry on the tradition.

The group needs volunteers to help serve the dinners at the temple and to deliver meals.

“We usually have 75 to 100 volunteers who just show up,” Osing said. “I’ve already had people calling, asking to volunteer.”

Just as the dinner itself has become a tradition, so has volunteering for several individuals and families in the community.

“The volunteers are the life blood of it, really,” Osing said.

They’ll never turn away a volunteer, Wilt said.

Osing said he hasn’t spent a Christmas at home for the past 30 years, but he doesn’t regret it. There’s a need for these dinners in the community, and he’s happy to be able to help.

“I’m pretty proud of what it’s become,” Osing said.

Masonic Lodge Christmas:

Masonic Temple, 611 E. Pennsylvania Ave.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day

Ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, rolls, desserts, coffee, milk and soda

Free home dinner deliveries are available, with a maximum of four dinners. Transportation will be provided for those who need it.

For transportation, reservations and home deliveries, call 641-682-9506. From Dec. 19-24, call between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and leave a message. On Dec. 25, call between 7-11:30 a.m.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pedersen: Spec. Ed. students should count ELDON — If you're going to publish graduation rates, stop excluding some children who are doing well. "In some ways, I think it's a little upsetting to the parents of a child who has a physical handicap or is otherwise [in special education], that th

    April 23, 2014

  • 0424 OTT Pennsylvania construction B&W photo -M -T Penn Ave. construction begins Thursday OTTUMWA — Motorists are advised that Pennsylvania Avenue will be closing for Stage 1 of the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction and Widening Project on Thursday. Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from just downhill from the intersection with Jefferso

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0424 OTT Lottery addiction graphic -T -L -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 3

    OTTUMWA — At first, George bought a lottery ticket once or twice a week. Nothing big. Spent $1 or $2 at a time. As the big jackpots rolled around, he’d purchase a few more tickets. No big deal, he thought. Soon, playing the lottery became his obsessi

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Interpreter bill approved in kidnapping case OTTUMWA — A filing in an Ottumwa case illustrates one of the basic tenets of the American legal system and its costs. Adem Anota is charged with one count of kidnapping. The charge is a Class A felony, among the most serious and one of only a few cri

    April 23, 2014

  • Van Buren OKs teacher pay hike KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Community School Board ratified a master contract with its certified staff members recently. Superintendent Dr. Pam Ewell, the Van Buren Education Association and the district reached a settlement which calls for increasing

    April 23, 2014

  • 'Ride With the Clowns' bike event full of fun OTTUMWA — This bike ride is a joke. No, seriously. The 10th annual "Ride With the Clowns" spring tune-up is set for Saturday, May 3, and this fun ride is sponsored by the Ottumwa Shrine Club Clown Unit. "It draws a regular crowd," said Mark Merringer

    April 23, 2014

  • Youth playing with guns panic Fairfield residents FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Police Department received two calls Tuesday from concerned citizens reporting kids with guns in the vicinity of both elementary schools. In both incidents, the guns were actually pellet guns but looked real. According to a

    April 23, 2014

  • The most fun you ever had

    OTTUMWA — Not every child's idea will be possible — but every idea was recorded. "Kaboom" project manager Brenna Hull of the nonprofit group's San Francisco office was in Ottumwa Tuesday. She asked students at the Ottumwa school district what they'd like to see in a playground.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Recycle center color photo 2 -T -M Where every day is Earth Day

    OTTUMWA — Putting cans in the correct bin, saving electricity and adjusting the thermostat are not new concepts to the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center staff. "We try to practice what we preach," said Janice Bain,

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0423 OTT lottery retailers graph -T -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 2

    OTTUMWA — We’ve all heard countless stories of lottery winners and losers. The winners, some of whom hold down multiple jobs, have modest dreams for now. One wants to buy a new home or car, another wants to pay of their debts or give to charity and e

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition