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News Community Highlands Christmas dinner raises more money than ever

$12,000 will go to area non-profits

It was an exceptional year for the Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner beginning with a new location, The Hudson House at Highlands Country Club. Guests were all seated in one room decorated to the nines for the holidays. Gregg Crawford, Brian Stiehler, The Highlands Country Club Board of Directors, and the security staff of Highlands Country Club were accomodating to both organizers and guests.


Despite treacherous driving conditions, more than 170 Highlanders braved the weather to partake of what has become a tradition for many Highlands families. The food was well received, with many new additions to the menu, including beef tenderloin, expertly prepared by Marty Rosenfield, lead chef at Lakeside Restaurant. Desserts and side dishes were prepared by Holly Roberts of The Kitchen; Martha Porter with Morningside B&B; Donna Woods and Jan Zehr.

The 9th Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner raised more money this year than any other. Approximately $12,000 will be divided between REACH of Macon County; Garr’s Kids Program of Carpe Diem Farms; and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Highlands. Many who could not attend donated the cost of their meal anyway, and many donations even exceeded the cost of the meal. All proceeds go to local non-profits.

The Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner is made possible because of the generous people who give up their Christmas to serve others. Mark and Chris Flashner live full time in Atlanta, but selflessly volunteer every year. With backgrounds in hospitality, they manage the floor and coordinate all the volunteers.

The room was decorated by Laura Huerta. The beautifully adorned Christmas tree was contributed by Bob and Trish Kieltyka of “The Christmas Tree.” Huerta and Donna Woods greeted guests at the door, and coordinated the seating. Volunteers this year included Martha Porter and Peter Ray; Gary Swanz; Lee Lyons; Cathy Mcintyre-Ross and Hank Ross; Cindy and Rick Trevathan; Matt and Rebecca Eberz; Dick and Jackie and Laura Hill; Sue Blair and Craig; Guy Fielding; Tom Hart; Clinton O’Brien; Stuart Armor; Ron Leslie; Jamie and Ann Van Harlingen and Helene Siegel.

The financial success of this event is due to all who come and dine and helped along by the many sponsors who lend both their tangible and financial resources. Area businesses donated such things as a 22-pound chocolate Santa and a romantic dinner for two at a local restaurant.

The Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner has now distributed more than $72,000 to local non-profits over nine years. Organizers Rick Siegel and Mary Rosenfield have a lot to be proud of. The annual event has met its goal of providing a warm and inviting Christmas Dinner to the “family of Highlands” and raising money for local non-profits. Organizers express the hope that the community will continue to be a part of this event that benefits those in need while enjoying the gift of time and ease on Christmas Day.


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