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Thousands attend annual Christmas Dinner in Scranton

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Thousands of people in our area got to enjoy Christmas dinner in the company of others.

For the last 24 years, the annual Bob Bolus Christmas Dinner has allowed those, who would typically spend the day alone, the opportunity to enjoy a hot meal and festive cheer together.

This year was no different.

Organizers expected to serve around 7,000 meals Christmas Day.

Dean and Tanya Williams have been coming to the annual Christmas dinner each year for more than a decade.

The couple consider it more than a tradition.

"I don't know what we would do without it because we don't have any family here. So, it just means to us and I'm glad that they keep it going. I'm hoping that it's something they continue to do,” Tanya said.

Tanya is originally from New York; Dean is from the United Kingdom.

"We all come here and we're all one. Like, you know, all nationalities. I'm from Wales and everyone makes me feel right at home here. So, it's really awesome,” Dean said.

Bob Bolus is the man behind the dinner.

The Scranton based businessman started it 24 years ago after he received an extra pallet stocked with turkeys.

He didn't know what to do with them, so he decided to hold a dinner for those in need.

Since then, it's grown significantly.

"This has just been unbelievable. We've had turnouts; nothing in 24 years will compare to what we had here today,” Bolus said.

The event began at noon and lasted until 6.

By 3:30, they had already gone through more than 80 turkeys.

Everyone who attends gets a hot meal to eat there and then another to take home.

Bolus also delivers meals to those who can't make it.

"I'm gonna say we're gonna be well over 7-thousand meals delivered and served because of the takeout here. But, we're gonna have about 3,000 plus people,” he added.

The Williams say they're extremely grateful for Bolus and his generosity during the season of giving.

"He's always making us feel so welcome and he just makes it really comfortable, so it really means so much,” Tanya said.

Bolas pays for most of the food and doesn't ask for donations.

He’ll begin planning for next year’s event tomorrow.

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