‘It’s a fellowship’ Community Christmas dinner brings Eurekans together
The ECHO community room burst with
sights, sounds and scents at Flint Street
Food Bank’s annual community Christmas
dinner Monday morning.
Flint Street hosts community meals on
Thanksgiving and Christmas every year at
ECHO, relying on a couple in the community
to help manage the meal and all its
volunteers. This year, Jan and Nile Carrothers
were that couple. Jan said there
were plenty of volunteers this year, saying
cook Rich Goodyear helped create a meal
that included turkey, ham, jambalaya, vegetables,
salad, pasta salad and desserts.
“It’s a very joyous occasion,” Jan said.
“We have a Lutheran minister who says
our grace now before the meal. This is a
Christian organization, and we’ll serve
possibly 100 today … somewhere between
80 and 100. We’ll have a full meal
and anything that’s left, we let them take
Goodyear said he’s happy to cook for
the community, remembering when he
moved to Carroll County after escaping
Hurricane Katrina. His family had nothing
but an empty trailer home, Goodyear said,
but that didn’t last long.
“We were about to go to Walmart to get
some air mattresses, and the next thing you
know, there’s a knock at the door,” Goodyear
said. “Someone’s coming in bringing
us linens and towels and everything.
Someone’s bringing us food. They’re
bringing in a TV and a microwave and a
couch, and in five hours, we had a fully
He continued, “I was so overwhelmed
with all the help we got. I just felt like paying
Flint Street hosts lunch on Tuesdays
and Thursdays, and Goodyear cooks there
once a month, too.
“I’m humbled in a way. I don’t mind
doing what I’m doing,” Goodyear said. “I
don’t like to make a big deal out of it.”
Jan said she’s grateful to Goodyear for
his help and to all volunteers who donated
food, time or money to the dinner.
“It makes us happy when the world is
full of generosity,” Jan said.
Sherry Lewis came to the dinner with
her friend Albert Wolfe, driving from
Cassville, Mo., to attend. Lewis said she
and her friend brought desserts and bread,
saying they helped cut the cakes and pies
and placed them on the dessert table.
“This is our second year we’ve come,
and we’re friends with Albert and we
asked him if he wanted to come help,”
Lewis said. “It’s been fun. We like it.”
Wolfe said he enjoyed seeing so many
people celebrating Christmas together,
saying he didn’t mind contributing to the
“I’m happy to give,” Wolfe said.
“It’s great,” Lewis agreed. “I’m happy
about that, very happy.”
Nile Carrothers said he has been part of
Flint Street’s board of directors for four
“We come up every Christmas and
help put this on. It’s a combination of
ECHO and Flint Street, and it’s all volunteer-
based,” Nile said. “It’s great. We’ll
probably feed 100 people here, and all of
them are not just needy.”
He continued, “A lot of people are coming
because there’s not a restaurant open,
but they want to get together with someone
for Christmas cheer. It’s a fellowship.
It’s a community dinner. Everybody’s welcome,
and everybody should come. We’re
happy to have them. Merry Christmas, and
a happy new year.”