B’s Diner 15th Annual Christmas Dinner for the Less Fortunate
YEGfoodie was proud to stand behind Brenda Der for her 15th annual “Christmas Party for the Less Fortunate”.
Brenda Der used to be the force of nature behind B’s Diner. If you were down on your luck and needed a hot meal, all you needed to do was walk into B’s Diner and Brenda would make sure that you were taken care of. Even though the Diner closed the doors almost two years ago, Brenda still continues to help the less fortunate here in Edmonton.
Brenda lost her son Jeremy in a drowning accident while they were out on a family trip about 7 years ago. The big Christmas Dinner is done in memory of Jeremy. It is a very important part of Brenda’s year. This is my third year with Brenda, my second working alongside her as her Volunteer Coordinator.
What does it take to put on a dinner that feeds between 400 and 600 people? A lot of work!
The initial stages of planning are finding sponsors to get the food for the dinner and the hampers that go out to the families. Oh I forgot to mention – this isn’t “just” a dinner. Brenda will generally do at least 50 Christmas hampers for families in need around the city. She also puts meals together for seniors and veterans. That is a whole lot of food!
This year we were fortunate enough to have the Forester’s Foundation as our corporate sponsor for the dinner portion of the event. Many thanks to Jeremiah Renner for putting all of that in motion. They have to submit a proposal to get the funding and then they go through all of the organizing and work to pick up all of the food items that are needed for the dinner. Thank you Jeremiah and all of your Forester’s!!
We don’t just provide our guests with a hot meal. We want for them to be able to relax and enjoy a holiday environment. Musicians are a must! We source talent that is willing to donate their time to this worthy cause. This year we were lucky enough to have Chantel Hilton back for a second year, and now she is part of the family; we are keeping her and never giving her back. If you have not heard of Chantel, she is a celebrity impersonator. Her favorite character is Marylin Monroe. We caught her performance on camera here.
What a stone cold doll! She worked through our technical difficulties (no bluetooth for the sound system – fancy new Iphone!)
We also try to make sure that we have warm clothing available for our guests to take if they need it. In previous years we have had photographers to take photos and the photo printers on site to make sure that the guests had prints that they could give for gifts to family and friends. We would love to bring this back again next year but we will need to find a corporate sponsor for the printers/ink/paper/SD cards.
It takes a lot of people to volunteer as well to make all of this possible. We can’t thank our volunteers enough! We are thankful for every single one of you that took the time out of their busy holiday season to give back to the community. It takes close to 100 people to put this kind of event on.
This is not the only event that this lovely lady does during the year either. The church that provides the space for the big Christmas dinner also does community dinners for the less fortunate on a regular basis. Brenda participates in those a few times a year as well.
Are you a musician, good in the kitchen, good with people, a photographer, just want to give back to the community? Come out to one of the events and lend a helping hand! Join our Facebook Group.
This year we fed 438 people. 50 Christmas meal trays went out to families (not enough donations were received for hampers this year). Several veterans meals and seniors meals also went out for Christmas dinner. We were able to help a lot of people to just pause and relax.
Cheers to Brenda and all of the hard work she puts in throughout the year. We love you Brenda!