LIMA — Shirley Lincoln of Lima spent Easter Sunday at the Civic Center in Lima along with hundreds of others for the annual Easter Dinner, hosted by the Tom Ahl family. Ahl is a long time automobile dealer in Lima and took over the dinner from Kleet Ellis, who took over from his father Ralph who started the tradition in 1991.
Lincoln has made this a part of her Easter for at least the last seven years.
“I think it’s wonderful because a lot of people don’t have a family and don’t have any place to go,” she said.
The event featured ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, gelatin and drinks.
The event takes around 60 volunteers to put on each year, with people handing out the trays, preparing the meals, serving the food and cleaning up afterward.
Don Leader and his wife Ann volunteer in the food line, serving up mashed potatoes. They’ve been volunteering here for nearly 20 years.
“God’s given us a great gift in his son, and it’s our way of giving back and sharing his love with those people in need,” Leader said.
Bill Lamont has been helping for the past four years.
“I’ve always enjoyed or appreciated the opportunity to serve some of the people who really don’t have much to have. Easter has always been a good time. I also do the Thanksgiving one, as well,” Lamont said.
This is the second year Don Knepper has helped out at the Easter Dinner. He was serving up the Easter ham.
“Oh, it’s great. [To] help people out and help Tom, Tom and I are good friends and so it’s great to do this,” he said.
This is the second full year that the Ahl family has hosted the Easter Dinner at the Civic Center. The event itself has been going on for the past 26 years.
“It’s just fun, you know to see all of the volunteers and what a great way to be able to share the love of Christ. The community has blessed us so amazingly. It’s our opportunity to give back to the family. [I] thought it would be a good family project. We got 13 grandkids — eventually, you’ll want to get them involved,” Ahl said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.