Holiday meal in Old Town about more than just food

EUREKA – More than a hundred people from all walks of life turned out to the gazebo in Old Town Eureka to share a holiday meal.
Organizer Samantha Sweeney dreamed up the meal after overcoming a difficult time with the help of friends.
She wanted to give back and help others do the same, so she and a group of 10 started soliciting donations and recruited a team of 50 volunteers to plan the holiday meal.
They served pulled pork and brisket donated by local businesses and gave away warm clothes to those in need while a small band played classic holiday songs.
A newly formed group called the Old Town Community Alliance coordinated the gathering led by Sweeney. She hopes it can be an annual event to bring the community together.
Sweeney said, “It is about serving a meal but that’s not what it’s all about. Community is where you find your jobs, your partners, your partnerships, housing so I think widening our social circle and what we think of as community is really important. I think community is really powerful and now more than ever I think it’s really important to connect person to person.”