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Red Andrews Christmas Dinner draws thousands to Oklahoma City despite wintry weather

Melinda Thompson said she is grateful for an event like the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner in Oklahoma City, which has been providing the less fortunate with a hot meal and Christmas presents for children for the past 67 years.
by Adam Kemp Published: December 26, 2012

Out in the hall, Gretchen Pace was experiencing a bit of a Christmas miracle before she set down to dinner.

Pace's dog Missy, a Chihuahua, was giving birth to puppies. The first pup was born at 6:26 a.m.; they named him Noel.

Pace said she and her sister had just lost the place they were staying because of a misunderstanding with a friend. They two currently are making their way on the streets, looking for work and trying to get back on their feet.

Pace said even though it's tough trying to feed herself and a dog, she couldn't give up on Missy.

“I rescued Missy off the streets,” she said. “I wouldn't leave her behind for anything. I'm here to take care of her as she becomes a mom.”

Santa visits

The dreary weather outside could do nothing to dampen the mood inside. A visit from Santa put smiles on all the kids' faces while warm food and tasty pie lifted the spirits of everyone else.

“Even if it's for just a few hours, it's nice to have a good Christmas again,” Thompson said.