Free Christmas Eve dinner plans progressing in Belding

By Daily News • Last Updated 12:26 pm on Friday, December 09, 2011

BELDING – Several area businesses and supporters are teaming up to host the fifth annual free Christmas Eve dinner at the Bridge Street Café in Belding.
The meal will be served from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 24 at the restaurant, which is located at 103 E. High Street on the corner of Bridge and High streets.
Several years ago, the Scheid family that owns and operates the restaurant came up with the idea of hosting the free dinner. The holidays can be difficult for people who can’t afford a traditional holiday dinner at home or don’t have anyone to share a meal with.
Restaurant co-owner Dave Scheid said the community response to the effort was great. Donations of money, supplies and all the volunteer hours necessary came pouring in to prepare the food and serve the hundreds people who came to enjoy the dinner.
“It is very satisfying to see people come out and enjoy the dinner and spend time with neighbors and friends on such a special holiday,” Scheid said.
Mike Verdun, owner of the Verdun Family Funeral Home in Belding, has helped with the event for the past few years.
“Being a part of giving people, who might not otherwise be able to, the opportunity to share a holiday meal with others on Christmas Eve is very satisfying,” Verdun said.
Meal organizers plan to contact the Ionia County Commission on Aging to coordinate home delivery for Meals on Wheels recipients in the Belding area again this year.
“It will be nice to be able to include those individuals too,” Verdun said.
Belding Dial-A-Ride again will provide transportation to and from the Christmas Eve meal. Call Bridge Street Cafe at (616) 794-3360 by  Dec. 20 to be placed on the bus schedule.
Several other area businesses and groups have stepped up to help make the meal a reality. A brass trio will provide entertainment while Santa Claus plans to stop by and greet the diners.
Call Renee Scheid at (616) 794-3360 or Verdun at (616) 794-1300 for more information.

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