Free Easter Dinner Feeds 346 Community Members


Photo Volunteers rallied to serve 346 ham dinners to community members at no cost as part of the first annual Grampie Bill's Place Easter Dinner at the Second Baptist Church on Saturday, April 8th. (Photos by Lura Jackson).


By Lura Jackson


There are many things that the Calais area does not (yet) have – shopping malls, IMAX theaters, or a great deal of wealth in general, to name a few – but there is one thing that it has in abundance: community spirit. That point was well-proven on Saturday, April 8th at the Second Baptist Church, where 346 meals were handed out at no cost to any and all takers. 

The event marked the first annual Grampie Bill’s Place Easter Dinner. As the name suggests, the event was sponsored by “Grampie” Bill Gibson and his wife Arlene, with assistance from volunteers from the Second Baptist Church and other local places of worship. Donations for the event were offered from numerous individuals and places, including coffee from Dunkin Donuts and drinks from McDonald’s. 

“It’s amazing how people come forward in this city,” said Bill Gibson of the assistance offered. Gibson said that approximately 130 pounds of ham were purchased for the event, in addition to copious amounts of mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and green beans. Arlene Gibson organized the event with expert skill, utilizing spreadsheets to ensure that nobody went away hungry. Volunteers woke up as early as 3 a.m. the day of the event to make their preparations. Along with the meals being offered at the church, the Gibsons and volunteers delivered meals to those who were house-bound and unable to attend in person.


“We’re already planning on doing it again next year,” said Gibson.