by April Scheinoha
Christmastime was one of Shirley Hince’s favorite times of the year. Now, some of her children are keeping her memory alive by spreading some Christmas cheer.
Each year at this time, they prepare a dinner similar to the Christmas Eve dinner that Shirley used to provide. The dinner is served to residents of Riverside Terrace, which is commonly referred to as the high rise in Thief River Falls.
“We started this when my mom passed away,” said Shirley’s daughter Cathy Miramontes. Shirley passed away in 2010.
Cathy’s brother Willie had the idea of doing something special in Shirley’s memory. Soon, they decided to serve the meal at Riverside Terrace, where their dad, Willard, lives.
Each year, the group feeds about 50 to 60 people. Cathy cooks the food and hauls roasters to the apartment building. Her brother Tim Hince and his fiancee Cheryl Costello bake cookies and bars. Cathy estimated that they make 30 dozen cookies since they also bake enough that residents can take some cookies to their rooms.
Other family members – including Cathy’s sister Marybeth Workin; Cathy’s kids Jennifer Herzberg and Tony Miramontes; and Cathy’s grandkids – help serve the meal with the assistance of various friends. They also bring dinner to those residents who are unable to make it downstairs for the meal. In case anyone is wondering, Cathy’s husband, Vince, also assists by providing financial assistance.
Willie and Cathy also buy gifts for the residents. Cathy said she made seven blankets this year for the residents.
Cathy also takes photos, which are placed in a photo album for her father. Willard is then able to share the photos with his friends at Riverside Terrace.
The annual dinner is a treat for Willard and his friends. “I think it’s much appreciated by the tenants that live here,” said Riverside Terrace Manager Deb Waterworth. “It’s well attended, and I think they look forward to it every year.”