Fellowship, tears, smiles mark annual free Christmas dinner

TAYLOR – Three women sat enjoying a free Christmas dinner last year and enjoying each other’s company at the William D. Ford Senior Activity Center.

Total strangers only three years earlier, the women met at the True Meaning of Christmas dinner that is served on Christmas Day to anyone who wants to attend – especially those alone, less fortunate or hungry – and their guests.

One of the women, a Wyandotte resident, suddenly had tears in her eyes as she talked about having nowhere else to go and how she didn’t want to sit home on Christmas Day. To her and hundreds of other area residents, the free Christmas dinner is the difference between loneliness and having fond memories of the holiday.

That’s what drives the Domski family to continue hosting the dinner, which will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Christmas Day for the 12th straight year. Taylor’s Ford Center is at 6750 Troy, west of Telegraph Road and north of Ecorse Road.

“There are so many people who really depend on the dinner,” said Larry Domski, a city inspector and chief of the all-volunteer Taylor Auxiliary Police. “They have no other place to go. Others are financially strapped during these economic times. We welcome everyone.”

Last year, an estimated 250 people took part in the free meal – the largest turnout yet. Domski said the group of volunteers will be set up to serve as many as 300 meals and there is always food left over.

This year, the delicious meal will include turkey and all the trimmings, ham, white and sweet potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, beverages and desserts.

It all started years ago when the Domski family chose to end its annual gift exchange and put the money toward a meal for anyone to enjoy. More than 20 Domski family members and plenty of volunteers split up the duties, from cooking to serving to cleaning up the center at the end of the day.

The city donates the use of the Ford Center. The Police Department and members of the Taylor Governmental Management and Administrative Employees Association are among the financial

Those who cannot arrange transportation to the Ford Center can call for a free ride in advance or on the day of the event. The telephone number is (313) 291-7740.

Local organizations and churches are asked to spread the word about the free dinner to their members and associates.

“We sincerely want to invite everyone who is in need to join us on Christmas Day,” Domski said. “No one will go hungry on Christmas.”