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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: 295001

Reported Deaths: 3535
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin624331107
Ramsey26238493
Anoka20851224
Dakota20527189
Stearns13245106
Washington13220111
St. Louis8141108
Scott798154
Wright720338
Olmsted639934
Sherburne552241
Clay473356
Carver443213
Blue Earth395813
Rice393335
Kandiyohi378719
Crow Wing344731
Nobles301429
Chisago29799
Otter Tail288820
Benton285847
Winona266629
Mower248523
Douglas242235
Polk238223
Morrison224027
Lyon206711
Beltrami202517
McLeod198511
Becker194015
Goodhue190628
Steele18336
Itasca179123
Isanti179016
Todd173912
Carlton170414
Nicollet154925
Freeborn14795
Mille Lacs145131
Le Sueur141111
Waseca135911
Cass133310
Brown131215
Pine12788
Meeker11638
Roseau11074
Hubbard107523
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Murray5623
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Wilkin3605
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Mahnomen2834
Grant2566
Red Lake2033
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Cook630

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 223783

Reported Deaths: 2330
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33166333
Linn13991164
Scott1100384
Black Hawk10795134
Woodbury10255124
Johnson940036
Dubuque913491
Story674921
Dallas629057
Pottawattamie617069
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Webster357033
Cerro Gordo349644
Marshall346345
Clinton322840
Buena Vista302214
Muscatine282668
Des Moines282419
Warren276411
Plymouth270641
Wapello251571
Jones228413
Jasper214643
Marion202919
Lee199416
Carroll196422
Bremer192612
Henry18107
Crawford174115
Benton167418
Tama153340
Jackson143013
Delaware141021
Washington138214
Dickinson135810
Boone134811
Mahaska126127
Wright12226
Buchanan115410
Clay11504
Hardin114010
Page11144
Hamilton11009
Clayton10875
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Mills10297
Fayette102210
Lyon10188
Butler9916
Poweshiek98213
Winneshiek95812
Iowa93012
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Chickasaw8424
Sac8407
Cherokee8214
Cass80222
Allamakee79011
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Mitchell7794
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Shelby76111
Union7576
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Unassigned6470
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