Christmas Comes Early for DMHS Clients Thanks to Knights of Columbus
Christmas started early for dozens of Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) clients, courtesy of Knights of Columbus Council #4895. On December 6, the Knights hosted a free Christmas dinner and dance featuring turkey, roast beef, ham, stuffing, vegetables, and dessert.
Grand Knight Len Ladouceur explained that this annual tradition stretches back over twenty years. “There are a lot of marginalized people in Whitby who know that the first Tuesday of every December is Christmas dinner,” Len said. “The dinner is really an opportunity for people to get together and enjoy each other’s company, people who otherwise might not have that chance.”
Garrett is one of the people who attended. Garrett said, “The dinner and dance was the highlight of my Christmas so far. A very big thank you to all the people that put on this great event!”
Mark Bouwmeester coordinates DMHS’ Day Programming and Peer Support. “This is the second time DMHS was involved. The volunteers do a fantastic job,” he said. “Mayor of Whitby Pat Perkins attended, learned about the tradition, and met many of the guests. Needless to say, she was very impressed.”
Grand Knight Len Ladouceur points out that the dinner continues the Knights tradition of service. “Knights of Columbus was established to help marginalized people,” he said. “We haven’t gone very far from our roots.”