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Westport Church Preps for Christmas Feast

Instead of scrambling around town looking for Christmas gifts, Randy Christophersen and other staff members of Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport are busy preparing for the church's 40th annual Community Christmas Feast. And they need all the help they can get.

"We expect to serve somewhere between 250 and 300 meals, but it certainly can be more," Mary Ann West, communications spokeswoman for the church, said as she opened the church's large but almost bare refrigerator.

About 300-plus meals were served at the 40th annual Thanksgiving Feast, which is why church staff is anticipating so many guests for Christmas. And to feed such a large group, the church needs 25 turkeys and 10 hams. So far, only 11 turkeys and two hams have been received.

"We are the only church, that I'm aware of, between New York City and New Haven to serve such a feast on Christmas Day," West said. "The need is always there and continues to grow."

The church is also in need of store-bought pies, she said. And because of nut allergies, West said the church cannot accept pies with any type of nuts—pecan pie included.

If you don't have time to stop at a grocery store, you can help by making a monetary donation, which will be used to purchase food. Or even better, you can volunteer on the day of the feast.

"We need volunteers: not only to help serve and prepare the food, but also for the cleanup," West said.

Held at the church, the feast begins after the "blessing of the turkey" at 1 p.m. and is complete with a visit from Santa, who will pass out toys donated by Toys for Tots .

"This event is uniquely Westport," said West. "People from all walks of life come: from the elderly, the homeless and everyone in between. Anyone who wishes to enjoy the holiday with others is welcome."

To volunteer, donate or for more information, visit the church website or call 203-227-1261.

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