After St. Paul's Fire, Noel Community Revises Dinner Plans - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

After St. Paul's Fire, Noel Community Revises Dinner Plans

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - This year, Christmas dinner will be a little different for the Noel Community. A month after a tragic fire raged through St. Paul's By The Sea Church, it's revising dinner plans.

"This is a totally different set up than we've had for the last sixteen years," said Patricia Smith, Noel Community volunteer.

It's different because the fire that killed Father David Dingwall and severely burned Dana Truitt, also displaced the Noel Community and its annual sit-down dinner. So this year, hundreds of meals will be handed out on Christmas morning at Ocean City Town Hall.

"We had to take it a step at a time and figure out where we were going to get products from, where we were going to store things," said Katie Coffman, also a volunteer.

The all of the food was donated from the community, or purchased through monetary donations. They received so much help that in addition to ham and turkey, they were able to buy refrigerated food, like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. But finding a place to store them was another challenge.

"They are literally all over ocean city," Coffman said. "We have them at different stores, different churches and some are at St. Paul's."
 
The group was able to change plans quickly and still provide meals that will feed nearly 1,500 people. Despite not being able to sit down together, there will still be a "Toy Land" for kids, an appearance by Santa, music and good cheer. But one person is missing.

"Of course this year it will be in memory of Father David," said Smith. "I think he'd be proud of us."

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