Sun, Sept. 15

A Holiday Tradition<br><i>Feast fit for a king awaits Verde Valley seniors in annual Moose Lodge bash</i>

Courtesy photo

The Verde Valley Moose Lodge dresses up for seniors every year and produces hundreds of free Christmas meals. Preparing plates last year are Sally and Wayne Winters, Glen Sarahs and Randy Sievert. Also getting into the holiday spirit in the lodge's Clarkdale kitchen is Moose woman Linda Addington.

"It's fabulous it gives you a great feeling," says Judy Hearrell, a coordinator of the event for the Women of the Moose. "It's a lot of work," adds her husband Steve, a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose, "you see the elderly enjoying a good Christmas dinner and it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling."

The cooks that prepare the 20 turkeys, eight hams and 20 pumpkin pies are local members of the fraternal organization comprised of nearly 2 million members throughout the U.S. Canada and Great Britain.

"Between $1,500 and $2,000 is donated by members," says Steve.

In the Verde Valley, Moose members also receive some special help from local Girl Scout Troupe 919. The girls donate their time to serve up Sunday's sit-down dinner in festive surroundings at the lodge while some Moose stay behind the cook's window.

"We've got six people in the kitchen serving it up," Steve explains. "One person does nothing but make the mashed potatoes."

And last year it had to be enough to serve nearly 500 including meals delivered to 114 homebound seniors throughout the Verde Valley.

Many dining this Sunday may have a lineage including grandparents in the Loyal Order of Moose. The organization was founded in the late 1800s and members continue to pledge their loyalty to the aid of children and their fellow man.

For more than a quarter of a century that mission lives on in the Verde Valley every second Sunday in December.

If You Go:

What: Verde Valley Moose Lodge 27th Annual Senior Citizen's Dinner

When: Dec. 8 at 1 p.m.

Where: 1051 S. Broadway Street in Clarkdale

How Much: Free

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