A Ringling church is inviting the community to dine for a cause next week.
Ringling United Methodist Church’s annual Community Christmas Card Luncheon raises money for Ringling students’ school supplies every year. Women’s coordinator Dona Brooks said the event is at least 12 years old, but the last four years the church turned the event into a fundraiser.
“Before then, we didn’t really have a cause,” Brooks said. “About four years ago, we were thinking of a real need in the community and something we could do to help.”
Brooks said buying supplies for the district’s roughly 250 children from Pre-K to sixth grade made for an attainable goal.
“We buy all their supplies, as well as everything the teachers use in the classroom,” Brooks said. “The wipes, the tissues, the paper towels, things like that.”
Brooks said the group sets their fundraising goal at $8,000 every year and teachers tell the church what school supplies each grade will need. So far this year, the church has raised roughly $1,200 at a chili supper fundraiser.
“It ends up being about $50 per child by the time you buy everything,” Brooks said. “Watercolors, scissors, rulers, their little math supplies.”
Churches, local businesses and individuals claim a table to decorate elaborately for the event, with every table bearing a different color scheme and theme.
“The tables are beautiful, each one sits eight and they use different china and Christmas decorations,” Brooks said. “We end up with about 14 tables.”
The luncheon is slated for December 12 at Ringling United Methodist Church. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and lunch begins at noon. At 12:30, fifth grade students will perform songs,  and this year’s speaker, Debra Vernon, will address the group at the end. Vernon is the Bible leader at First Baptist Church of Ardmore’s weekly Bible studies. Brooks said the afternoon will wrap up by 1:30 p.m. The menu includes chicken crepes, salads and desserts.
“We’ve had a table or two from Ardmore, even Waurika and Ryan, all of Jefferson County,” Brooks said. “It’s a really neat thing to see people that you wouldn’t see otherwise, especially during the Christmas season.”
Brooks said generally the event brings in about 100 guests. Guests can make a donation of their choice at the door to cover admission.