Patricia McEachin and her husband, Pastor Roland McEachin, of Killeen’s Upper Room Ministry, hosted their first Feed the Hungry Winter Wonderland Christmas dinner on Dec. 22 at the Serenity Chateau Event Hall in Cove.

McEachin said she got the idea for the event when she realized she cooks every year for her own family and thought to simply expand it to feed those who might not otherwise have a holiday meal. She went on to say she believed “this year was a year for us to serve the community.”

It took about six months to see the event to completion. The McEachins got help from Patrick Richardson, the director of the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen, and several volunteers, including their own son and three grandchildren.

Richardson donated gifts for children to receive from Santa, as well as items that went into gift bags for adults. The meal was catered by Society Soul Food.

Volunteer servers included Preteen Miss Kris Kindl Alyssa Kimball, Teen Miss Kris Kindl Taylor Miller, Ms. Kris Kindl Ashley Coombs, Little Miss Five Hills Kadence Coombs, Preteen Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball, and Senior Ms. Five Hills Hope Ransom. Accompanying them was Wendy Sledd of Copperas Cove Independent School District.

Roland McEachin said they wanted to “create a place for love and peace.” Patricia McEachin, who is also first lady of their church, added she wanted the event space to reflect a “cozy” feeling. Attention was paid to every detail. From the intimate seating arrangements, tablecloths and centerpieces, to the fully decorated tree and Santa Claus, everything was specifically designed to give one a feeling of home and family.

Though the event was scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., McEachin said they served “as long as the food is still there.”

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