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Christmas cheer VIA VOLUNTEER

Once again, Zion Lutheran Church hosted the annual Christmas community dinner in Cloquet, bringing joy and an assortment of appetizers, meatballs, ham, mashed potatoes and more to hundreds of folks.

It was a church tradition for nearly 25 years, but the Carlton County Disabled American Veterans have been running the show since 2021.

Working the meal is a regular volunteer gig for many veterans and their family members, including Tammy Nephew - unofficial charcuterie and dessert table commander - and 11-year-old Nia Scott, who prefers the mashed potato station. Scott said she comes at Thanksgiving and Christmas to help her grandfather Terry Scott at the meals. Lots of other community members also help out. Brooklyn and Lauryn Hilton came to help their dad, Chris, while their step-siblings served food at the Steve O'Neil breakfast in Duluth.

DAV vice commander Gary Dahl estimated the volunteers served more than 450 meals on Dec. 25.

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