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Plum church reports highest numbers served during holiday brunch

Dillon Carr
| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, 4:33 p.m.
A crowd gathered at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum during its fourth annual Christmas Day Brunch.
A crowd gathered at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum during its fourth annual Christmas Day Brunch.
A crowd gathered at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum during its fourth annual Christmas Day Brunch.
A crowd gathered at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum during its fourth annual Christmas Day Brunch.

A Catholic church in Plum served around 200 meals to people in need during its fourth annual Christmas Day brunch, said organizer Irene Plutto.

Our Lady of Joy Parish along O’Block Road started the brunch event four years ago to offer hot meals and fellowship to anyone who needs it.

Plutto said she got the idea for the event after visiting a Thanksgiving brunch at Holiday Park United Methodist.

“I just thought, ‘Why not do that here?’” she said. She recruited some others in the church to establish a planning committee who collectively decided to host a Christmas Day brunch so the churches wouldn’t compete.

“Whoever shows up, shows up,” Plutto said. “We don’t want to exclude in any way. The idea is no one will be alone on Christmas. That’s our primary goal.”

The first year drew around 100 people from the community, she said. This year, that number doubled to the highest attendance yet. Plutto said guests came from 11 communities around the Pittsburgh area and from 13 churches. Some were not affiliated with a church. Around 125 volunteers helped with the event.

Some guests enjoyed the meals at the church while others had meals delivered, said Plutto.

Local businesses and parishioners donated food, cash and gift certificates. Plutto said the church was able to give away more than $500 in prizes including gift certificates to local grocery stores and restaurants.

The event doesn’t just feed people in need, Plutto said. It features music and entertainment, as well.

“We make it a party atmosphere. It’s not somber. Our goal is to make it a celebration,” she said.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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