ROCKINGHAM — A handful of current and former elected officials plan to provide a free hearty and heartwarming meal as a way of giving back to the community this weekend.
Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court Vickie B. Daniel is spearheading the inaugural Christmas Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the National Guard Armory.
“It’s something in my heart that I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Daniel said on Wednesday. “I’ve always been the type of person who wants to do for people.”
Daniel said she grew up watching her mother helping others, including family members and others in the community, so the spirit of giving was instilled early on.
“In Richmond County, I see so many children and families” who may not have enough money to have a good Christmas, she said. “There are some people who are desperate; they don’t have a lot of money … to buy toys or provide food” because they’re struggling just to pay bills and make ends meet.
“I’m more of a giver than a receiver,” she added. “What we’re receiving is seeing people happy.”
Daniel first mentioned the idea to Ronnie Lowder, a friend in Stanly County who is part of the Christian Cooking Convoy, and he told her to just do it.
Once the ball was rolling, she brought it up to Sheriff James Clemmons and District Attorney Reece Saunders, who both agreed to help.
Also on board are: school board member Bobbie Sue Ormsby; former state senator and Rockingham mayor Gene McLaurin and his wife, Donna; state Rep. Ken Goodman and Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman; and state Sen. Tom McInnis.
“It’s about helping people … we want to help people in our community,” Daniel said. “I just want people to come together and … put a twinkle in a child’s eye” and help those who need food.
Lowder and crew will be coming down on Friday to start cooking and a lot of the donated food is coming from Stanly County. Daniel said there is also support from several local churches, the Baptist Men’s Association, folks from Robeson and Scotland counties — some people she doesn’t even know — and her own family.
“I’m just so thankful that I have people who are willing to come together … to help us help everybody else,” she said. “I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
On the menu: Eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, coffee and orange juice and, biscuits from the Rockingham Bojangle’s. Stanley and Linda Jacobs will also be providing entertainment while attendees chow down.
In exchange for the free food, Daniel and the other organizers are asking that eaters bring in a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local food bank or a new, unopened toy that will be donated to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.
“It’s dear to my heart,” she said of Toys for Tots, adding that she supports the organization in both Richmond and Anson counties. Her office has a collection box, a tradition started by former Clerk Kathy Gainey that Daniel has continued.
As for the breakfast, Daniel said she is expecting a large crowd and hopes to continue for years to come.
“I think it will truly bless the people of Richmond County,” she said.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]