Ten years ago, Roy and Barbara Stewart hosted a free Christmas dinner for locals, a thank you card for the residents’ support. The dinner became a delicious tradition. Roy’s Last Shot in Gilpin County is known for hosting benefit dinners, graduation parties, weddings, memorials, celebrations of all shapes and forms.
The best and brightest of those is the annual Christmas party, and last Saturday’s gathering was the ultimate holiday gift to the community.
This year Roy and Barbara talked to the Timberline Fire Protection District and asked for Assistant Chief Chip Smith to come up with a Santa. So he did. Himself. The quintessential jolly old elf had way too much fun talking to the kids and inviting them to choose a toy from the huge pile under the Christmas tree.
It was a difficult task for the children who had to choose from hundreds of new toys for kids of all ages, all of which were donated by the community. Stuffed animals galore. Dolls. Miniature cars. Fishing poles and Bronco gear. Bags full of candy. Play Doh. Firefighter hats and Tickle Toes Talks.
Roy’s elves, dressed in red and green scurried around the restaurant making sure that everyone got what they wanted, at least for a few hours. For some, it might have been the best dinner, the nicest holiday cheer they would get.
The adults were busy choosing what they wanted to eat at the buffet. Turkey and tender slices of steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, a salad bar and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert. From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. the food kept coming. So did the guests.
Roy greeted people with his usual enthusiasm and introduced them to each other. Newcomers found themselves sitting at tables with neighbors they haven’t had a chance to meet yet. People who have known each other for years but never had a chance to sit down and talk discovered they had a lot more in common than they realized.
Roy’s Last Shot Christmas Dinner is so much fun and filled with such good feelings that it is truly a gift for mountain neighbors.
A great way to end the year and a wonderful event to look forward to for next year.