Once again Sacred Heart Parish, along with St. Gregory’s Pantry, will host the annual New Year's Day Fellowship Dinner from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Mgrs. Casey Hall.
The meal is free and all are welcome to eat at the parish hall near the church at 751 Main Ave. (Route 35 South), Bay Head.
Even though the church, which was flooded by Sandy, is still not open, the hall is open and will again be used for the annual dinner, just as it has been for three years.
"If you or someone you know has fallen upon hard times, needs a hot meal, or just needs some fellowship following our visit by Hurricane Sandy, please encourage them to attend," says a flier on the church website. There will be live music performed by "Mr. G.," who sings and plays guitar, and take-home prizes.
"For the past three years, close to 200 individuals have joined us for this annual event, and, this year, due to the hurricane, we are not certain how many to expect," says the flier. "We have decided, therefore, to count our blessings following Sandy's devastation and hold a 'Thanksgiving Dinner' with turkey and all the fixings."
Shirley Puchalski, one of the volunteers coordinating the dinner, said on Saturday that parishioners and other local residents have generously donated 23 turkeys and lots of side dishes such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, salad and desserts.
Donations included about eight turkey breasts from Riverside Market on Mantoloking Road in Brick. And Mona Lisa, Bay Avenue, Point Borough, is donating four giant trays of baked ziti.
"We have enough food and volunteers, now we just want people to come eat," Puchalski said.
And proving that the Christmas season lasts beyond Christmas Day, volunteers will also distribute gift cards worth between $50 and $200, thanks to generous donations.
Anyone wishing to help the parish pay for the dinner or to continue helping the victims of Superstorm Sandy can send a check to: Sacred Heart Church, 751 Main Ave., Bay Head, NJ 08742.
Donors are asked to write "New Year's Day Dinner" on the check so the funds will be directed as intended, Puchalski said.