Sunday, December 24, 2000
Steamboat Springs On Monday afternoon at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, the Hobans of Sydney, Australia, celebrated their first white Christmas with a turkey dinner compliments of the Steamboat Board of Realtors.
In Australia, where our winter is their summer, Christmas day temperatures can often reach 100 degrees fahrenheit, causing the family to sweat through a hot dinner before jumping in the pool, Anthony Hoban said.
"Usually, we're sitting there sweating with the oven on," he said.
The Hobans constituted 5 of the approximately 300 people who showed up at the Christmas dinner Monday afternoon to devour 14 turkeys, 10 hams and an assortment of side dishes and desserts, said Chris Sachs, who organized the dinner.
About 40 volunteers lent a hand, working in shifts from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
"I didn't have to do anything to get volunteers," Sachs said. "They just came."
Sachs spent the entire day cooking, even enlisting the help of her two daughters.
Some organizations, including Safeway, City Market, Clark's Market and the Steamboat Smokehouse donated a large portion of the food, while volunteers from the community cooked and served the meal.
This is the fourth year in a row the Realtors have sponsored the Christmas day event at the community center.
"I read about it in the paper and realized I wasn't doing anything on Christmas so I assumed that I might as well give back to the community," said volunteer Jo Starnes, slicing a stick of butter.
As the guests ate, a 4-person band accompanied by Rich Phillip who had made an instrument out of a washboard with bells, played a Christmas-like bluegrass medley that wove its way over the hum of voices. Later, the juggling group "We're not Clowns" performed for the assembled crowd.
Moose Barrows, dressed as Santa, went around to the tables throughout the meal handing out presents to the children.
Some of the guests came to the center because they couldn't be with their families.
"If you've got nobody to be with on Christmas this is a great place to be," said Bill Sawer, a groundskeeper and soccer coach at Colorado Mountain College. "If I'm in town for Christmas, I usually come here."
The Martins of Irving, Texas, however, came because they couldn't find any other open restaurants.
When they arrived in town at about 1:30 p.m., they were famished from a long flight and, after inquiring about where they could get a bite to eat, found out about the Christmas meal.
"We couldn't have had a better Christmas meal if we had made it ourselves," Sue Martin said.