Holiday Event For Lane County Seniors Seeks Support

Nov 17, 2017

Lane County Human Services is hosting a holiday dinner for hundreds of senior citizens—--many who might otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. This annual, volunteer-driven event is seeking community support.

Susan Matthews coordinates the Senior Holiday dinner at the Eugene Hilton.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

This is the 39th year for the Senior Holiday Dinner. Five hundred elders are expected to attend. It will be held here, in the Eugene Hilton.   

67-year old Susan Matthews is looking over the space. She coordinates the all-day event, doing everything from soliciting raffle prizes to making sure seniors in all reaches of the county can get here, even the homebound.

“Our volunteers go to people’s doors,” Matthews said. “Pick them up, bring them here and take them home afterwards.”

On Christmas day, this lobby will be filled with music from jazz saxophonist Paul Biondi’s band. Seniors will dine on a 3-course turkey dinner, served by volunteers.

Many seniors have no family nearby to celebrate the holidays with. The Senior Holiday Dinner gives every elder a place to go on Christmas Day.
Credit Dave Sanders NYTimes

Matthews says the Senior Holiday Dinner costs about $11,000 to put on. With five weeks to go, she’s trying to defer some of those expenses with business sponsorships. Seniors who can, are asked to buy an $8.00 ticket.

“We’re hoping to raise enough money so that we can give free tickets out to the Senior Centers, Senior and Disabled Services and Food for Lane County, to seniors who can’t afford that $8.00”

Anyone interested in supporting the Senior Holiday Dinner this year can contact Lane County Human Services Division.