Mel Huang and his volunteer assistant Mary will host a free holiday dinner social for senior citizens in Dargaville this December

A merrier season for the elderly

by Andy Bryenton

Dargaville caterer Mel Jean-Pierre Huang has secured an improved commercial kitchen at the town’s former Northtec site, and he plans to repay the assistance he’s had from many locals by giving back to the seniors in the community with a free-of-charge Christmas dinner social.

“It’s for the elderly who don’t have the benefit of family and friends close by on Christmas, or who struggle to feed themselves, let alone prepare a holiday meal,” according to Mel and his volunteer helper Mary.

“We have put out a request for other volunteers to help make this a reality, and have had an enthusiastic response.”

The evening, which will take place on December 20, is open free of charge to any gold cardholders who would otherwise have a lonely Christmas without the option of a big social get together.

They could be single or an older couple, residing in Dargaville or its surrounds. The town’s shuttle service operator has kindly volunteered to transport those seniors who would otherwise have trouble attending.

Volunteers to assist with cooking and serving have stepped forward in numbers, which Mel says speaks volumes about the good heart of the town.

Moreover, he and Mary both encourage those who may wish to sing or play music to entertain during the dinner to contact them as well.

One hundred per cent of the cost will be covered, but there is only space for 70 guests. So the organisers of this event ask that those who wish to attend, please RSVP to 022 406 9350 to reserve a space.

Those with older relatives or friends who they feel would enjoy a Christmas treat are encouraged to share this information and make this, the first of what Mel plans to be an annual event, a success.