By DAVE GORGON
For the Sunday Times
TAYLOR – The public is invited to enjoy a free Christmas dinner on Christmas Day at the William D. Ford Senior Activity Center, 6750 Troy.
The 20th annual “True Meaning of Christmas” dinner is set for noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 25.
The meal is open to everybody — especially those alone, less fortunate or hungry – and their guests.
Members of the Domski family pool their resources to provide the dinner. Hundreds of those in search of Christmas dinner, camaraderie and holiday memories attend every year – nearly 400 people attended last year.
This year, volunteers again will be ready to serve hundreds of meals, and there is always food left over.
“No one should be alone or go hungry on Christmas,” said Larry Domski, a retired Taylor city inspector. “Anyone who needs a meal is invited to join us. If you’re less fortunate or want to spend the day with somebody, we’ll be there for you.”
Like last year, the meal will include turkey and all the trimmings, ham, white and sweet potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, beverages and desserts.
The “True Meaning of Christmas” dinner started two decades ago when members of the Domski family chose to end their annual gift exchange and put the money toward a meal for anyone to enjoy. More than 20 Domski family members and dozens of volunteers split up the duties, from cooking to serving to cleaning up the center at the end of the day.
Volunteering at the Christmas dinner is the only thing Domski daughter Alyse has known since she was born. As a youngster, she accompanied Larry and wife Lisa to the Senior Center. When she was old enough to help, she was there among her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, doing whatever she was asked to do.
Now, as a 16-year-old junior at Riverview Gabriel Richard High School, she continues to look forward to spending several hours Christmas Day helping others.
Larry Domski thanked Mayor Rick Sollars and the city of Taylor for donating the use of the Ford Center. He said the family also is grateful to several individuals who make financial donations that are used to purchase food.
“We are overwhelmed by the outstanding volunteers and sponsors who participate every year,” Domski said. “It takes all of them, my brother and sisters and other relatives and friends – we all work together.”
He said members of the Domski family think it’s important to keep the dinner – and the tradition – going year after year. They look forward to serving hundreds who return annually as well as meeting people coming for the first time.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” he said. “The whole family believes so many people depend on this day – especially seniors. It’s all we know on Christmas Day. The family doesn’t even discuss it any more. We just assume we’re going to do it no matter what.”
Those who cannot arrange transportation to the Ford Center can call for a free ride in advance or on the day of the event. The telephone number is 313-291-7740.
Local organizations and churches are asked to spread the word about the free dinner to their members and associates.
“We sincerely want to invite everyone who is in need to join us on Christmas Day,” Domski said. “No one should go hungry on Christmas.”