It’s Lindsay, Ontario’s St. Dave’s Diner and their 10th Annual Community Seniors Dinner on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.
This festive event started in 2009 when David and Mariska Tomlinson, the founders of St. Dave’s Diner in Lindsay, decided to host a complimentary Christmas dinner, after hours at the restaurant, for the low-income seniors from Hamilton Place. The first year saw about 20 people attend. Attendance grew each year and word spread via the seniors & their various support workers, and by popular demand a couple of years ago St. Dave’s opened it up to all the seniors in all of the community housing in Lindsay.
Complimentary bussing is now provided by the City of Kawartha Lakes. St. Dave’s staff and several members of the community, including bus drivers and even Santa, donate their time. Some of the food is donated by the Diner’s suppliers. Since 2016 New Guys Taxi have donated their services to transport seniors that are not in housing and will be working again this year. Annual attendance is now close to 100.
Somewhere along the way the seniors decided they wanted to give something back and although no payment is required to attend, those that can bring a toy or donate $5.00. All donations go to the Kinsmen Toy Drive – one generation looking after another as St. Dave’s (recent) new owner Jason Hore, likes to call it. Even Lindsay’s Mayor has dropped in to extend his Season’s Greetings.
Of the many events St. Dave’s Diner does, this one is clearly their favourite. Not only do these seniors get a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, which many would not get otherwise, they get out of the house to socialize with others (something that is a rarity for many). Seeing them dressed in their finest Christmas attire with smiles on their faces, and joining in a singalong with Santa is a wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
Their evening begins at 5:00 pm, dinner is served at 5:30 pm and it usually wraps up by 6:30 pm. St. Dave’s welcome you to come and join them for the meal or just stop in to say hello and share some time with these wonderful senior members of the Kawartha Lakes community.
St. Dave’s Diner is located at 2925 Highway 35, in Lindsay, Ontario and you can reach them at 705-328-9411