After a difficult year that saw his restaurant have to close its doors due to no fault of his own, you’d think Tommy Hunter has enough on his mind as the renovations are taking place inside his well-loved downtown eatery, Tommy’s.
But for Hunter, even in the moments as he was emptying out his restaurant to allow for the renovations following flooding in the final phase of the Big Dig, his annual Christmas Dinner and Christmas Hamper campaign were top of mind.
“Oh, we’re definitely still doing the dinner and the Christmas Hampers. I’ve already started making plans!” Hunter said with a sense of determination in late October as he was closing Tommy’s for renovations.
“I’ve literally had 20 restaurants offer me their space to use for my Christmas dinner… Luckily, a lot of people trust me that are willing to hand over the keys to their restaurants when they’re closed, so that’s pretty incredible.”
Indeed, Hunter is prepared and ready to continue his holiday tradition where he serves Christmas dinner to approximately 300 people that would otherwise go without. But now he has a whole other problem on his hands.
“We’re currently short more than 70 turkeys for our Christmas Hampers,” he said, referring to the hampers he and his team fill with all of the traditional staples of a Christmas dinner. Those hampers are then delivered to over 100 families in need throughout Kingston. Hunter’s team is made up entirely of volunteers, who put in the time and energy alongside Hunter in the hopes of making someone else’s holidays that much brighter.
The hampers are to be delivered on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, leaving very little time to collect the 70+ turkeys Hunter and his team still need to complete their incredible gesture. With time ticking away, Hunter has turned to the community once again to ask for help in making a difference for those less fortunate in Kingston.
“I do this every year because I think it’s really important to support the community that supports me so much,” Hunter said on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
“We put in a lot of time, work, and energy to make sure as many people in the community can enjoy Christmas the way they deserve to. But to do that, we need help from people in the community that are able to do so.”
Turkeys (preferably 12 to 16 lbs.) can be dropped off at Slate Studio at 286 Princess St., or at Autohouse Kingston at 1556 Bath Rd. These locations will also accept financial donations to ensure the turkeys get purchased. Financial donations can also be e-transferred to [email protected] (please make the password ‘community).
Tommy’s Fifth Annual Christmas Dinner takes place at Renaissance Event Venue at 285 Queen Street.