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The Athol Daily News

ATHOL — A touch of the Christmas spirit was felt just a little bit early by 15 randomly-chosen seniors on Tuesday, as they received free frozen turkeys (from 14 to 16 pounds), cranberry sauce and pies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. The seniors were selected via a lottery from a pool of those involved in at least one of the many Council on Aging’s programs.

Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Deputy Rick Peters and Kimberly Roy, the director of community programs for the WCSO, delivered the goods (placed in bags with the WCSO logo) at the town hall through the Council on Aging office.

Athol was the first stop on the day, as Evangelidis and his team made a total of 10 stops across the county, delivering over 300 holiday dinner bags. The deliveries were made possible by a donation from Table Talk Pies and other private donations made through the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

The WCSO noted the holiday dinner program is in place to help brighten the season for low- to moderate-income senior citizens living in Worcester County by providing a substantial meal for the holidays.

“The sheriff’s senior citizen holiday dinner program is a great way to help our low- to moderate-income seniors during the holiday season,” said Evangelidis. “With the Christmas season upon us and especially during these difficult economic times, providing a turkey dinner to our senior citizens who have given so much to their communities over the years will go a long way to help make their holidays brighter.”

Evangelidis noted that the seniors chosen in Athol were the first recipients of the program, and he hopes to make the deliveries an annual event.

“We cannot thank Sheriff Evangelidis enough for providing our seniors with frozen turkeys, cranberry sauce and pies for their Christmas Day meal,” said COA Executive Director Cathy Savoy. “The sheriff’s holiday dinner program goes a long way [toward helping] our seniors during the holiday season.”