"Caroling, caroling now we go, Christmas bells are ringing, following, following yonder star, Christmas bells are ringing..."

And there's turkey, fellowship and "great Christmas spirit," said Chatfield Lions Club President Cheryl Jankiewicz, in anticipation of the annual Chatfield Lions Club Senior Christmas Dinner.

This year's event is slated for Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Chatfield Elementary School cafeteria. The Lions will be welcoming senior citizens from the Chatfield area to enjoy Christmas cheer courtesy of the service organization.

"We have turkey dinner with everything...lots of good food prepared by the elementary school kitchen staff - turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, the works - and there will be Christmas spirit, carols and definitely volunteers assisting people into the door from the parking lot."

Chatfield's mayor, Don Hainlen, will bring his upright bass, Marj Martin will play piano and F. Mike Tuohy will lead the caroling as the turkey is passed.

According to Lion and event organizer Dick Swanson, the dinner, open to Chatfield school district residents age 70 and older and their spouses, began as a Rotary Club project that survived the end of the Rotary Club itself and became a Lions project.

"We've been doing this for many years. It actually started back with the Rotary Club several years ago, and when the Rotary Club disbanded, a few of us became Lions members and brought this project with us," he explained. "I've been doing the organizing for several years, and we have help from the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts and a few students from the National Honor Society. On the day of the event, when we need help, many hands make light work."

Swanson added that the dinner offers an opportunity for generations to mingle, and for attendees to win door prizes made available through the generosity of Root River State Bank and F&M Community Bank.

"We have door prizes, too - the two banks provide Chatfield Dollars, and Strongwell provides flower arrangements that people can win," he added.

Jankiewicz noted the meal and entertainment comprise an event countless people look forward to each year. "The Chosen Valley Care Center brings people who are able to come, and they love it...it's a nice outing for them," he added.

Swanson stated, "It's a nice event we do in recognition of the seniors and their commitment and dedication to the community."

The dinner is slated for noon on Saturday, Dec. 15, in the cafeteria. No reservations are necessary, but transportation is available if one requests it by calling Root River State Bank at (507) 867-4120.