Easter dinner for 900

The Kelowna Gospel Mission has been holding their annual Easter dinner for more than 30 years, providing warm meals for those in the community who may not have a place to eat a family meal.

On Saturday, 50 turkeys, 18 hams, 500 pounds of potatoes, eight cases of frozen vegetables, along with stuffing, gravy and pies to top it all off were served up at the Gospel Mission on Leon Avenue to an expected 900 people.

“We like to have a family atmosphere,” said Randy Benson, executive director of the Gospel Mission. “It's a matter of making everybody feel like they have value, that we're all equal in our society and we're all deserving of that fellowship and that time together.

“I think it's very important.”

One of the guests on Saturday was Wayne McIsaac, a man who lived at the Gospel Mission for 11 months, before finding accommodation in December at Gordon's Place, an affordable housing complex run by B.C. Housing.

McIsaac credits the Gospel Mission with saving his life.

“In the 11 months I was here I went to the hospital 16 times in an ambulance and at least four times they saved my life,” McIsaac said. “I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, it's just health issues I have, so without this I probably wouldn't be here.”

McIsaac returns to the Gospel Mission often to say hi to the staff and tell them how much he appreciates what they do.

Easter dinner is one of three large meals the Gospel Mission hosts, the others being on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Those are the times where traditionally our society gets together with family and celebrates so we try and provide that same opportunity for them here,” Benson said.

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