Salvation Army hosts Christmas dinner

Volunteers cooked and served Christmas dinner to guests.

Posted: Dec 25, 2017 7:43 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - About 50 volunteers and 250 guests came for a Christmas meal at The Salvation Army Adult Day Program in Rochester. 

Major James Frye and his wife, Paulette, have been hosting The Salvation Army Christmas dinner for 42 years, 11 of them in Rochester. 

"When I was a child our house burned down about two weeks before Christmas...and Santa Clause showed up at the door but he was wearing a uniform. And they brought our family food, and clothes, and toys," Frye said. "They didn't know us but they said, 'here's a family that lost their home.' And I said, 'that's something I want to do.'"

The Salvation Army opens it's doors to everyone and anyone, hoping no one is alone on Christmas day. Frye said they had people from Mayo Clinic who were away from home for the holidays and people who had recently lost loved ones come to the dinner. 

"We don't want anybody to be without, we don't want anyone to be alone, that's what it's about," he said. "Christmas spirit is getting together telling people you love them, you care about them." 

This is the couple's final year hosting the Christmas dinner as they are retiring. 

Denny and Julie Pittman were away from home on Christmas, but found a home to celebrate the holiday at The Salvation Army. The couple is from Louisiana but is in Rochester for Denny's surgery at Mayo Clinic. His surgery was pushed back until after the holiday. 

"So instead of driving two days back, and two days up here again, we decided to stay and spend Christmas with y'all," Denny said. 

The couple said they enjoy helping the community. 

"We're a part of every community. This is God's place, it's God's world, so we're going to give back. He gave to us.' Denny said. 

The Pittman's enjoyed volunteering so much, they said they might have just found a new holiday tradition. 

 "It's the first time we've ever really done anything like this and it's a special feeling. Everybody should experience it and take part in giving back to your community. Because I mean everybody gets down and everybody needs a helping hand," Denny said. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 609016

Reported Deaths: 7741
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1261631795
Ramsey52955910
Dakota47198475
Anoka43176465
Washington27637296
Stearns22651227
St. Louis18233319
Scott17667139
Wright16506153
Olmsted13495103
Sherburne1211496
Carver1073349
Clay829392
Rice8247111
Blue Earth769244
Crow Wing687298
Kandiyohi669685
Chisago626754
Otter Tail589887
Benton585098
Goodhue485474
Mower477333
Douglas477281
Winona463252
Itasca462668
Isanti445066
McLeod433861
Morrison427462
Beltrami410163
Nobles409650
Steele400519
Polk390772
Becker389157
Lyon365054
Carlton356858
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Pine337223
Nicollet333845
Mille Lacs314556
Brown308640
Le Sueur299427
Todd288033
Cass287933
Meeker265144
Waseca240723
Martin236833
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Houston175316
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Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49022
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Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
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Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
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Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
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Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
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Hamilton186851
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Madison167719
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Lyon160941
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Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
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Louisa130249
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