Businesses host holiday community dinner for 500 people

The Morning Journal
By JASON HENRY

LORAIN — More than 500 people in  Lorain County found a warm meal for the holiday at four locations across the county yesterday afternoon.

Five local businesses hosted community dinners at the Senior Center in Avon,  Community Resource Services in Avon Lake, Antlers in Lorain and the Salvation Army in Elyria.

The meal was provided free of charge as way to give back to the community, said Dan Klimas, one of the organizers and the president of Lorain National Bank.

Klimas said the idea for the dinner was created in collaboration with Chris Carroll, president of Flavorseal; Billy Hricovec, owner of Tom’s Country Place; Dan Urban, Chief Human Resources Officer at Wickens, Herzer, Panza, Cook & Batista Co.; and Bud Hagy, owner of Cafe 83.

“All of our organizations, and all of us individually, feel very strong about giving back to the community and doing our part to help our communities,” Klimas said. “There are plenty of folks around who are in need of food.”

Klimas said all of the food was cooked by the staff at Tom’s Country Place and left overs would not go to waste.

“Any food that was left over in Lorain or Elyria, the Salvation Army is going to use for their hot lunch programs this week,” he said.

This is the event’s second year and the first year where people could just show up at the locations.

“Last year when we did it, we had tickets,” Klimas said. “This time it was really open to anyone in the community who wanted to be able to have a holiday
meal.”

He said the annual event is likely to continue next year.

“I think we’ll get feedback from each of the locations to see what worked and what we could have done better,” he said. “I would expect that after what was such a great turnout this year that we would continue to do these types of things to support our communities.”