Chiko to serve up one last festive meal
The chef behind a Christmas charity dinner for the underprivileged said that this year will be the last before he switches the event to the summer.
But Michiko Campbell, the creator of Chiko’s Smokey Rub, added that he wanted the Christmas event, which has run for several years, to end on a high note.
He said: “We’re going for a little bit more entertainment, so there will be things like more local dance groups.
“We’re also trying to see if we can get more kid-friendly items like a small fun castle for the younger kids.”
He added: “We’re trying to see if we can get any volunteers who want to help out with that.
“We do have some local companies that actually have kid-friendly things, so we were thinking about asking them if they’d like to donate towards the event.”
Mr Campbell said that he planned to move the event so that those in need had more opportunities for a free meal at other times of the year.
He added: “We have noticed in the past that a lot of people are doing stuff around the same time.
“We wanted to spread it out so the focus wasn’t always around Christmas and doing Christmas giveaways. We want to make it all year round.”
Mr Campbell said that the summer event would be more family-orientated.
He added that he was still on the hunt for donors to help support the event.
Mr Campbell said: “Whatever funds we don’t use from after paying all the expenses for the event will go to charity.
“If whatever’s left over surpasses a certain amount — we’re thinking $4,000 — we’ll split it in half and give it to two people who need medical help.”
The sous chef at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton has thrown the free holiday feast almost every year since 2015.
Mr Campbell said that he had seen an increase in people who needed assistance over the years.
But he added that the number of donations and volunteers had kept pace with the demand and still amazed him every year.
Mr Campbell said: “You do see a lot more people who are aware of the situation and they’re trying to help out as well.
“Last year, I believe the total amount of people that we fed was around 820.
“We hope to do the same this year.”
Mr Campbell added that the gratitude he saw reminded him how much the dinner meant to the people who attended.
He said: “People have come up to me and given me a hug, or some ladies would give me a kiss on the cheek because they’re so grateful for it.
“We actually had a good bit of people crying when they gave me hugs because they needed the help.”
The dinner will be on December 23 from 5.30pm to 10pm on the western side of Albuoy’s Point next to the RBYC.
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