Roswell, like Christmas, has its traditions. On days like Dec. 25, culture and tradition collide for a delicious, loving experience. Just ask Joe Mundzak, a Roswell resident who attended the Community Volunteer Programâ€™s Christmas dinner.
â€œGood dinner,â€ he said. â€œFirst one Iâ€™ve been to here. I donâ€™t have any family (in Roswell). My closest relative is about 300 miles away. If it wasnâ€™t for this, Iâ€™d probably be sitting at home by myself.â€
Hundreds filled their stomachs with ham, turkey and all of the fixings. They also filled their hearts with thanks and fellowshipped with their Roswellite brethren Saturday.
â€œItâ€™s really important for people who donâ€™t have family,â€ Mundzak said. â€œFor … the homeless … itâ€™s really important too.â€
The Community Volunteer Program has held its free Christmas dinner since the late 1970s. The program has gone on to feed thousands since its inception and continues to be a staple of fellowship, tradition and the spirit of the Roswell community.
â€œI want to thank the city of Roswell for making it happen,â€ said Johnny Gonzales, director of Community Volunteer Program. â€œI really want to thank the Lord for this Christmas dinner, which brought much success in the community to a lot of … families.â€
The dinner was held at Silver Spoon Buffet, on the corner of Richardson Avenue and Second Street, and hosted by Saul and Joanna Aguilar. Volunteers from Corona, Las Cruces, Roswell and all over New Mexico assisted Saul Aguilar with preparing the food for the dinner, which fed hundreds of people at the restaurant as well as several home-bound residents who received meals at their homes.
Members of the community brought friends and loved ones to the dinner, which included prayer and scripture read by Burt Jimenez, a member of Prison Door Ministries.
â€œOur purpose is to touch the heart of the people with the love of Christ,â€ Gonzales said. â€œItâ€™s the fellowship and the love that we send.â€
According to Gonzales, various sponsors provided the food for dinner including Farmers Country Market, Gateway High Schoolâ€™s Warriors basketball team, Lawrence Brothers IGA, Rick Roberts of McClellan Oil and Skeen Furniture.
For more information about the Community Volunteer Program and their up-and-coming New Yearâ€™s Day Celebration call 624- 7579.