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Volunteers feed hundreds for Christmas
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No one should go hungry at Christmas and certainly, no one should be alone.

That was the resounding mission during Friday's free dinner held at Dawsonville Tavern, where no one was turned away and everyone left with a full stomach, knowing they had experienced the true meaning of Christmas.

Owners Jennifer and Donavon Hyder said hundreds of meals were served or delivered to area residents on Christmas Day.

"We would like to thank Scotty Seay, Barbara Hubbard, Gordon Pirkle and the 25 plus volunteers that helped feed and deliver [meals to] over 550 people in need this Christmas holiday," the couple posted to the tavern's social media page Monday.

Seay, who organized the free dinner said he was inspired to give back this holiday season by family, friends and leaders like Pirkle, an avid community supporter.

"I've learned a lot from Gordon [owner of the Dawsonville Pool Room]. He's done a lot for this community," he said. "Gordon has been a big influence on me, and I just feel like it's my turn to try to help him out."

The calling to give back comes from a higher place, said Seay, who first offered a free Christmas five years ago at the same location, although it was a different restaurant at the time.

"It was embedded at an early age that you always pay it forward, from my mother and father, my grandparents, roll models and dear friends in my life," he said. "Donovan and Jennifer Hyder are so gracious to allow me to use their facility to do this.

"That has been one of the biggest obstacles that we've had is having a place where people can come in and be comfortable and have a place to sit down and eat."

The free meal, which included chicken wings, chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, chili and homemade desserts, was open to anyone in need.

Emergency personnel that were working on Christmas and couldn't be at home with their families were also invited.