For the 34th year in a row Salina Chef Bill Fekas prepared the biggest Christmas dinner in Salina. A large crowd enjoyed the annual Bill Fekas Family Christmas Dinner.
Fekas had a dream in 1982 to prepare and serve a free dinner for anyone who was alone on Christmas Day. Late Salina businessman Dean Evans told him to get the ball rolling and he would pay the bill. That first year there were about 30 people at the event.
Over the years the dinner, which is still free to anyone who wants to attend, has grown exponentially. Fekas, with the help of a small army of volunteers, this year prepared enough food this year, including over 200 turkeys, to feed over 4,000 people.
The event on Christmas Sunday did not disappoint. A large crowd was already gathered when the doors opened at 11:00. For those who couldn’t make it to the meal, volunteers stayed busy making home deliveries. As the doors opened there were just as many home deliveries going out as there were people coming in to eat.
The goal of the meal is very simple, to put a smile on the face of everyone who attends. Along with a turkey dinner and all the trimmings, there are gifts for the kids and live entertainment.
While the dinner is free for all who attend, it isn’t free for Fekas. Each year he depends on donations to help make it possible.
Fekas points to his helpers as the key to getting things ready to eat on Christmas Day, and applauds those who help buy the groceries. “We really need some donations to pay the bills right now. I would appreciate so much, a gift in any amount to help with the cost of the meal.”
Those who want to send a check can mail it to :
Bill Fekas Family Christmas Dinner
PO Box 2173
Salina Kansas 67401