Each year, with the coming of the Christmas season, an idea that began as a simple, almost “pot luck” dinner, has transformed into a Highlands tradition. What raised $20,000 over the first five years for Habitat for Humanity has grown to giving away close to $100,000 over the last five years, all for local nonprofits. With that money, the dinner funded nonprofits like Highlands Hospice, the International Friendship Center, Carpe Diem Farms, The Literacy Council of Highlands, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Highlands. What was originally solely funded and seeded only by the organizers and the vendors they purchased from has become an effort that has been given support and sponsorship by local civic organizations like Rotary Clubs, banks like First Citizens, Highlanders and second home owners who recognize the effort being extended to put money into needed programs that go directly back into the community. What began as a dinner that fed only those who could afford to join us evolved into a vehicle to feed some families in the area who would otherwise not have a holiday meal.
Last year, the goals set for The Christmas Dinner were exceeded by a large margin. The proceeds were such that more local nonprofits were included to share in the success. While the plan for the dinner was to raise money for REACH of Macon County and Big Brothers Big Sisters, the final distribution of funds included The Highlands Emergency Council, The Literacy Council, The Free Dental Clinic, and The Free Medical Clinic.
This year the goal is even more ambitious. While the recipients that have been chosen for this year’s dinner are REACH of Macon County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The Highlands Cashiers Hospital, the feeling is that other nonprofits while be on the receiving end of the proceeds.
You are invited to share in the joy of giving as you are eating the finest of holiday meals, a buffet prepared by Highlands’ best and served by volunteers who love the nonprofits served by the dinner and give up their Christmas Day to prove it.
The dinner is Tuesday, Dec. 25, at the Hudson House at the Highlands Country Club. Seating times begin at 11 a.m. and go until 5 p.m., and are by reservations only. Make reservations now by calling (828)526-9419. Adults are $35, children under 12 are $15, and kids 5 and under are free.