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Thousands gather for Spirit of the Lehigh Valley dinner

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:03:45 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 26 2013 05:23:07 PM CST

Pre-Christmas chaos inside the Holiday Inn off Route 100 in Upper Macungie Township was part of the Spirit of The Lehigh Valley Christmas eve luncheon.

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. -

Pre-Christmas chaos inside the Holiday Inn off Route 100 in Upper Macungie Township was part of the Spirit of The Lehigh Valley Christmas Eve luncheon.

"I surprised her when we got here she was like I remember, I remember.
She was like I want that ham," laughed single mom Kinishasha Thomas.

Kinishasha and her seven-year-old daughter Spring were just two of the nearly four thousand people, all of them needy, invited to the annual event, now in its 21st year.

"It means getting together with family and everything," Meon Smith said.

It was a celebration made possible by donations from the hot food, to the wrapped toys, all passed and served by 500 volunteers like 86-year-old Gordon Beidler.

"It makes you feel real good because I've been fortunate in my yeas and a lot of people haven't. This is one way of making them happy," the Berks County man said.

Jennifer Davis' family has been coming here for 17 years and wouldn't have a Christmas without it.

"Gets them excited and ready. I'm a single mom of 4 and can't do on my own," she said.

The spirit of giving was not lost on anyone here. Any toys not given out this year will be held over for next year.