Volunteers, donors once again make Shepherd’s Feast success

Published 8:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

The 13th Shepherd’s Feast was held at Polk County Middle School on Christmas Day. 

This free community dinner is made possible through the donations of local restaurants and businesses and the time and talents of many volunteers.  

The community event was founded in 2006 by the late Ross Fox, a longtime resident of Tryon who did not want anyone to be alone on Christmas Day. 

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For 10 years, Fox gathered volunteers to prepare the food and serve as hosts to Christmas Day guests. He arranged for donations of food from area restaurants, and he invited everyone to celebrate the sacred and special day with him. 

This became a Christmas tradition for Fox and many of the volunteers.

In September 2016, Ross unexpectedly passed away. Those who had volunteered for years did not want to see the event disappear, and many rallied to keep it alive.  

This year, 350 Polk County neighbors came together to celebrate Christmas Day at the Shepherd’s Feast by sharing a table and dinner, meeting old friends and making new ones in the process. There were gifts for the children, homemade desserts and live entertainment.  

Coordinators Carlann and Dave Scherping would like to thank the 70 volunteers who cooked the meal, served the food, washed the dishes and welcomed guests. They also want to thank a number of restaurants and businesses for their generous contributions.

Organizers also thank the musicians who made the day more festive with Christmas melodies: Phil and Gaye Johnson, Becky Kraai and Derek Harrison, and Ed Kraus. They also thank those who made monetary donations or brought desserts or donated gifts for the children’s Christmas tree.   

Finally, coordinators thank Polk County for being their guests on Christmas Day, and to Ross Fox for his gift to the community.

– Submitted by Carlann Scherping