Christmas is a time for gathering with family and friends over the holidays. However, for some people that’s just not feasible. The Algonquin Café invites them to dinner on Christmas day.
“There are lots of seniors with kids living elsewhere,” said Shaun Israelstam, manager of the café, as one example. “Come sit with us. We have music going, food, Christmas cookies, good coffee and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s just somewhere to hangout and have fun on Christmas day.”
The annual dinner is also pay by donation only. The donation bucket is already sitting on the front counter of the café, so those more fortunate can donate and support those less fortunate. Last year, $3,500 was raised with about 150 people being fed. This year Israelstam is hoping for an even larger turn out.
“Walter Grys, the owner, it was his idea. He said, ‘let’s give back to the community, to the church.’ Everyone who’s alone, let’s be together. The less fortunate, the homeless, all walks of life,” said Israelstam.
All funds raised from donations are donated to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul with owner Grys covering the cost of food. The organization is involved with supporting the homeless and those less fortunate. All donations raised at the café will go toward supporting this initiative.
For those without transportation to the café, one of the staff will be available to pick people up and drop them off afterwards. In some situations, the café staff will also deliver meals to residents.
Israelstam said it’s about community supporting community.
“If you do small things like this for the community, they will visit you more often during the winter and quieter season,” he said. “That’s what you need to keep small business going.”
Algonquin Café will be serving dinner―turkey with all the trimmings―from noon to 4 p.m.
The restaurant is located at 234 Main St W. For more information, visit algonquincafe.ca or call (705) 784-9700
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