Family Christmas Dinner

The annual Family Christmas Dinner will be held Saturday, Dec. 21, at Marshall White Center in Ogden.

Everybody should look good at the holidays.

To that end, Ogden City Recreation will be hosting its first ever “Free Christmas Haircuts” event on Monday, Dec. 23 at Marshall White Center, 222 28th St., in Ogden. Free haircuts will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that day.

“We’re excited to see what kind of a turnout we get,” said Edd Bridge, recreation manager for the city. “Hopefully, there will be a lot of hair to clean up at the end of the day.”

Bridge said a couple of hairstylists approached his department about the possibility of offering free haircuts to those who might be struggling to make ends meet at this time of year.

“We actually had some people present the idea to us,” he said. “They told us, 'We’d like to do this for the community, would you be willing to host it at Marshall White Center?' We thought, 'Let’s go with it, and see what the turnout is going to be.'”

Among the stylists offering free haircuts will be Paul Mitchell Ogden and Five O’clock Shadow Barber Shop.

Bridge said he likes the idea of offering folks a free haircut at this time of year.

“Around the holidays money is tight already,” Bridge said. “So we’re trying to provide a service that normally would cost money — that will help people feel good about themselves at the end of the day because they look good — and that will take one more thing off their plate that they don’t have to worry about.”

Bridge said he hopes the community will see the value and need in a “Free Christmas Haircuts” event, and that it will become an annual tradition at Marshall White Center.

But wait, there’s more.

Because Ogden City Recreation is also returning with its annual Family Christmas Dinner. Each year, the city department shares the holiday spirit with a free meal for the community, according to Bridge.

This year’s dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Marshall White Center.

“We’ve tried to make it more of a family event with stuff for kids — we bring in Santa Claus and give out candy canes, things like that,” he said.

Bridge called the meal a “traditional kind of dinner” for the holidays.

“It’s open to anybody, but we cater toward the less fortunate,” he said.

Bridge said his department has also been soliciting donations of jackets, blankets, hats, gloves, scarves and other winter wear — all of which will be distributed at the dinner.

The department recently offered a similar free meal, a Thanksgiving dinner, that attracted more than 300 people at Marshall White Center.

Bridge said this is the one time of year the recreation department tries to really give back to a community in need.

“When you come to these dinners, it definitely tears at your heartstrings,” he said. “Man, these people truly need this, and they’re so appreciative. You walk away feeling the spirit of the holidays.”

For more information on either event, call Marshall White Center at 801-629-8346.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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