Christmas Dinner Brings Owego Residents Together

By Adam Chick

December 25, 2012 Updated Dec 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The folks at the Countryside Community Center in Owego think that Christmas should consist of good food, friends and family. That's why they organized their annual community dinner for the sixth straight year.

Somewhere between 200 and 300 people had their Christmas day brightened up in Owego. What started as a "hairbrained" scheme by a few community members has become a staple of Christmas.

The entire dinner was paid for by selling Christmas cards.

"We're serving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, some veggies, rolls, and dessert," said organizer Michelle Hogancamp.

Throw in some good music and you have a recipe for a remarkable holiday dinner.

"I feel like there's friends here and it's very much family based," said Julissa Heil.

Suzie Milligan has an important job at the dinner. She's what they call a social butterfly.

"It's really a lot of fun. You go around and you talk to the people," said Milligan.

It's her job to make sure everyone feels welcome. Last Christmas, she made someone's day.

"I spent two hours with one person. And it was really a lot of fun. We found a lot of things in common I wouldn't have known. He was all alone for Christmas," said Milligan.

All this combines for an experience shared by all who attend.

"It makes it more of a celebration to be around all of the community people. We share a lot being here in this community," said Elfrieda Heil.

The dinner was sponsored by Owego United Methodist Church.