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Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah

Volunteers Help Less Fortunate At Christmas Dinner In Katonah

Gladys Ortiz and her family, husband Israel Martinez and son, Bradley Gonzalez. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
More than 300 people attended the annual Christmas dinner in Katonah. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Brad Cymbol said he enjoys helping people on Christmas. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
One of Santa's helpers at the annual holiday dinner in Katonah. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Sadie Gilman, Acadia Theilking, Esther Thielking and Lily Gilman as elves at the holiday dinner in Katonah. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Father Aloysius delivering the invocation. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Rachel Cifarelli was manning the arts and crafts table. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Eva Gomez, with her family, Jose Heredia, Lindsay Heredia and Bradley Heredia. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Emanuel Goodman enjoying his Christmas dinner. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Carol Foy said she was looking forward to celebrating Christmas. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

KATONAH, N.Y. -- A group of volunteers from Westchester made sure those less fortunate had a very Merry Christmas.

More than 300 people attended the 20th annual Westchester’s Community Christmas Day Dinner at St. Mary's School in Katonah.

The event provides a hot meal and warm clothing to people in need with an additional goal that no one will be alone on Christmas. Elves go around to the attendees asking them what they want for Christmas with Santa Claus showing up to deliver presents.

"It's a good feeling to be able to help the less fortunate," Brad Cymbol, a Katonah resident, said. "This is the time of the year to recognize the less fortunate and put some food in their stomach."

Cymbol said he enjoys seeing the smiles on everyone's face.

"This renews my faith," Cymbol, who was volunteering with his entire family said. "I am happy to donate my time."

Gladys Ortiz attended the dinner with her husband Israel Martinez and son Brandon Gonzalez.

"This is beautiful," Ortiz, a Katonah resident here for the first time, said. "We didn't have a lot this holiday. This is perfect."

Father Aloysius of St. Mary's Church in Katonah delivered the invocation and said a prayer.

"Christmas means peace, joy and humanity," Father Aloysius said.  "A dinner like this brings hope to people. It shows that we can be brothers and sisters harmoniously."

Rachel Cifarelli, a Katonah resident was working the arts and crafts table making headbands for kids.

"This is really special," Cifarelli said. "It makes Christmas more meaningful. This is a lot of fun."

Eva Gomez, a Mount Kisco resident, was enjoying the dinner with her husband Jose Heredia, and her two kids, Bradley and Lindsay Heredia.

"This is marvelous," Gomez said. "It's a fantastic way to celebrate Christmas. It gives my family something to do."

Emanuel Goodman, a New Rochelle resident, said this was how he planned to celebrate Christmas.

"I'm going to fill my face until it can't be filled anymore," Goodman said. "I have a lot of gratitude."

Carol Foy, a New Rochelle resident, said the dinner means she will have a Merry Christmas.

"It's great to have dinner with everyone," Foy said. "The food is very good."

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