Couple shares Christmas dinner with community

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Fourth annual event honors memory of ‘B.C.’ Grissom

By Amber Coulter

A local couple once again has organized a Christmas dinner for community members in honor of their son.

The fourth annual dinner takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Christmas at the National Guard Armory on Warfield Street in Elizabethtown.

The event is free and open to the public.

Barbara and Bennie Grissom of Elizabethtown began organizing the event after their son, Bennie Charles “B.C.” Grissom, died.

They knew he barbecued often, but they had no idea why he did so until seats at his funeral were filled with senior citizens. His parents then learned their son had regularly made food for seniors.

Barbara Grissom said she wasn’t aware of her son’s form of generosity, but his nature didn’t surprise her.

“He always had an obsession with young kids and the elderly,” she said.

Since then, the couple has organized a Christmas dinner sponsored by various local businesses to honor his memory and offer community members a meal option during the holiday.

It also was the only way they could bring themselves to mark the holiday.

Area residents who need a meal and those who don’t have anyone with whom they can spend the holiday are among the community members who benefit the most from the event, Barbara Grissom said.

“I have people bawling their eyes out because they have nowhere to go and no family here,” she said.

The meal features turkey, pumpkin pie, ham and other holiday favorites.

It drew an estimated 120 to 160 attendees last year. Barbara Grissom expects a larger turnout this year because of the economy and other factors.

She hopes the event gives people a good meal and allows them to associate with others who may be dealing with the same issues they are, such as loneliness and need.

Barbara Grissom’s own mother bonded one year with a woman who visited the event because she had no family to share the holiday with. The two women held each other and cried.

Barbara Grissom said those stories make her feel wonderful about what she and her husband organize.

To volunteer or make a donation, call Barbara Grissom at 304-6826 or Bennie Grissom at 304-6415.

Barbara Grissom said she and her husband are thankful for all the help they have received during the past four years.

“We deeply appreciate it,” she said.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.