Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Tenderloin Tessie Christmas Day Dinner: A Friendly Dinner on a Rainy Christmas

Chris, Santa Rich, and Richard Shadoian

There was a heavy rain on Christmas Day Dec. 25 that deterred some diners who usually attend the annual Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinner at the First Unitarian Church. The count from board president and volunteer coordinator Michael Gagne was 865, which is quite a bit lower than the 1,000-plus Thanksgiving Dinner. Gagne, his crew, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence worked together to show compassion as they brought the long line out of the downpour and into the church.

Founded by eccentric San Francisco Empress Tenderloin Tessie, the dinners occur on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The guests’ thank you’s are sincere and the parting gift is appreciated.

Empress Chablis and Nikos Diaman

Activist Richard Shadoian was helped by Santa Rich and Chris with ham wedges in the kitchen, and perennial volunteers Empress Chablis and author Nikos Diaman enjoyed passing out pumpkin pie.

Sisters Roma, Adora Penthouse-View, and Pat N. Leather manned the entry and exit doors and served dinners. State Senator Mark Leno served punch with a smile from table to table at the Thanksgiving Dinner, but he was with his family during the end of December.

Tempting fundraiser and donations coordinator Aaron Baldwin is a go-between with the Tenderloin Tessie crew and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, because he is active with both groups. He helped make the holiday dinner a success despite the weather.

Fundraising and planning is already underway for the Easter Dinner. Volunteers and diners are welcome to check in with Michael Gagne.

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