Students set up for the Tamanawis Christmas Community Dinner in 2018. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey students prepare to serve 300 at 22nd Tamanawis Christmas Community Dinner

Evening includes a traditional turkey dinner, presents and performances by high school students

Students at Tamanawis Secondary School are busy preparing to hold the 22nd annual “Christmas Community Dinner.”

Set for Dec. 5 this year, organizers say the event is held “to support less fortunate families throughout the Surrey community and provide them with a traditional turkey dinner and to provide presents for the children.”

“Our main purpose for the dinner is to give them a memorable and joyous holiday experience,” organizers add.

The evening will include dinner, gifts for all the children in attendance and entertainment for an expected 300 guests. The night’s entertainment will include performances by the Tamanawis Dance Team, a well as the school’s jazz band and choir.

Other activities that are planned include a visit with Santa, a hot cocoa and s’more station, arts and crafts, and “DIY decorated desserts.”

This year’s theme is the movie Elf, chosen through a student vote, and there will be a “selfie with Elfie” station set up.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Surrey students host Christmas dinner for those in need (Dec. 6, 2018)

Grade 10 student Destiny Amadin is part of the leadership class organizing the 2019 iteration of the event.

“It’s a lot of work,” she told the Now-Leader. “There’s a lot of stuff you have to do both inside and outside of school to make the event happen.”

Destiny said the evening “has a very significant impact” on families in the community.

“Through doing it, you’ll feel pride knowing you were able to help people who are in need, or who just want to come out and have fun. It’s a nice celebration for Christmas – an early Christmas.”

Leadership teacher Debbie Mackenzie explained that the event was started by students, on a much smaller scale, with about 150 people attending in the early years.

It’s grown over the years to now serve 300, with tickets provided through Options Community Services. Mackenzie said Tamanawis works with some of the “neediest” elementary schools in the area and Options helps find the families to serve at the dinner.

“One year we had over 400 people show up, and we were carrying tables in. It was a bit hectic, so that’s why we’ve had to limit it to 300,” Mackenzie explained.

Like last year, there will be two sittings of 150, the first at 5 p.m. and the second at 6:30.

Mackenzie said she’s “really impressed” with this year’s group of student organizers.

“They’re a strong group of kids. They have to apply to be into the program, so they’re some of our best for sure. They’re definitely taking their leadership roles very seriously. It’s a stressful process for sure.”

The students plan everything, she added, from picking a theme to eliciting donations.

Anyone wishing to donate to the event can email tamanawispeleadership@gmail.com.

Tamanawis Secondary School is located at 12600 66th Ave.

-With files from Lauren Collins



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey man to bike across Canada

Last minute decision to take Rajiv Dhaliwal on three-month journey

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

Suspect in North Delta home invasion facing attempt murder charge

Blaine Robert Jackson, 37, of no fixed address, faces six charges in relation to this incident

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read