Residents walk through the line at Mathers Lounge and Cafe to get their Christmas Day meal. People from Craig along with their friends and family came to enjoy the food prepared by community members from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Residents walk through the line at Mathers Lounge and Cafe to get their Christmas Day meal. People from Craig along with their friends and family came to enjoy the food prepared by community members from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Mathers hosts community for Christmas meal

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With almost 200 pounds of turkey at this year’s feast, Mathers Lounge and Cafe was ready for one of its longest-standing traditions.

The bar and restaurant held a Christmas Day meal in Craig for residents and visitors to come enjoy food and the company of loved ones, friends and other community members.

Owner Tom Mathers considers it one of the best things they do at the restaurant.

“It’s tradition; we’ve always done it,” Mathers said. “I like carrying on what my dad’s started because he certainly cared for people. (This dinner) is giving back to the community, and it’s fun to do that.”

Mathers said the Christmas Day meal has been going for almost 40 years. This year, it featured a healthy spread with all the fixings, many of which were donated or paid for by local businesses contributing to the cause.

There were 180 pounds of turkey, Mathers said, to go along with mashed potatoes, vegetables and various salad dishes and desserts.

The lunch went from 1 to 4 p.m. with a change in the start time to accommodate seniors wanting to enjoy a meal.

Red Cortner, owner of Homemaker Furnishings and a contributor to the dinner, said providing those residents with a meal was an excellent gesture.

“A lot of nursing home people would be sitting in their rooms eating by themselves instead,” Cortner said. “They get to intermingle here. It’s a coming-together thing.”

Mathers said beginning an hour earlier made it a bit more complicated but said the community support is so strong for the meal, it didn’t matter.

Starting early “threw a few bumps into getting everything ready, but it’s come together well,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many people have helped put this on. It just feels good to give.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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