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Community Christmas dinner set for the holiday


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Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]

The annual community Christmas dinner is nearly set to run at the Havre Eagles Club a week from Friday Christmas Day and it looks like it will be the last time the Bergren family will handle the event. “If somebody is willing to step up, I'm sure willing to take a Christmas off,” said Jerry Bergren, who has been spearheading the event for eight years or so. Bergren and his family oversee the celebration, putting on a full Christmas dinner which welcomes anyone in the area to join in the camaraderie and holiday spirit of the meal. He said anyone is welcome to help put on the dinner, either in volunteering their time to help serve the dinner or in making a cash contribution to offset the cost. The preparations have been in the making for some time, and Bergren said he and his son, Scott, will start cooking at the Bergrens' business, PJ's Restaurant, about 4 a.m. Christmas Day. Meals will be delivered to people who can't make it to the dinner starting at 10 a.m. Dec. 25. Anyone needing a meal delivered should call the North Central Senior Citizens Center at 265-5464 no later than 4 p.m. Dec. 24 to reserve a to-go meal Bergren said volunteers deliver the meal, including some local farmers and local firefighters and employees of NorthWestern Energy. That helps, he added the firefighters and NorthWestern employees know their way around town and can find the addresses easily. Volunteers always are welcomed to help serve at the event. Bergren said people can call PJ's at 265-3211 for more information or to volunteer. “Or they can just show up at the Eagles at 10 o'clock,” he said. “We've got a lot of people who show up and eat, then get up and help serve. “You can't believe how efficient it all is,” Bergren added. The meal at the Eagles is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day. He said that, aside from the turkeys, which are cooked at Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods, all of the cooking is done at PJ's. Bob Bergren, who is likely to be helping serve his last community Christmas dinner while speaker of the state House of Representatives, said the event is busy. “We'll get the delivery meals, usually 200 to 300, done by 10 or 10:30 (a.m.),” he said, adding that the headcount at the Eagles dinner is usually about 500 people. People also donate items to give to children during the meal, Bergren added, and some live music also will be provided. He said everyone is invited to come to the meal and celebration. “It's our way of giving back,” he said. Jerry Bergren said that after putting on the meal for some eight years they took over from former state legislator Bob Sivertsen he and his family are ready to pass it on. “We're looking for someone to take it over,” he said


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