PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – Rick Legge has a soft spot for seniors.
“I’ve always looked after seniors. Always.”
A prominent local businessman, Legge does a lot of his charity work behind the scenes, without much recognition or accolades – simply because he can.
“This here is just something I’ve been doing for years,” said Legge of the Christmas dinner he hosts every year. “I used to do it at the Kinsman Club. That was a big thing. I used to sponsor 250 people.”
The seniors he invites are long-term residents on the hospital ward or in residence at the local retirement home. Once again this year, Legge’s East Haven Funeral Home covered the cost of more than 100 plates, each one overloaded with fresh turkey, vegetables, dressing, cranberry and gravy. Plum pudding, chocolate truffles and candied popcorn were among the desserts. Each guest not on a dietary restriction was also given a choice of cocktail.
The event was co-sponsored by the Port aux Basques Lions Club, whose members took care of the organizing and food preparation, and even made sure each guest received a Christmas present. Bruce Burton portrayed Santa this year and did the honours.
“He just lets me go get what I need, and when I get finished tell him what he owes me,” said Lions Club member Joanne Osmond, who organized the event. “The Lions all volunteer and they buy the gifts.”
The Lions also arranged for some local musicians to entertain the seniors, who took to singing along even before the meal was finished.
For Osmond and Legge, their second year working together to pull off the annual dinner is truly a labour of love.
“It’s been my baby last year and this year,” laughed Osmond, who is also grateful for the support shown by friends and neighbours. “Everybody is so free. Everybody just gives and gives.”
Said Legge, “They’re all my grandparents.”