GREENVILLE — For the eighth consecutive year, the Double M Diner, located in the Palace off of East Fifth Street in downtown Greenville, will be hosting an Easter dinner free of charge to the public.
The tradition was started 10 years ago by Marcella and husband William E. Murphy, now deceased.
“This is our annual giving back to the community Easter luncheon,” said Murphy, who sold the business to her daughter, Shellie Walker, five years ago.
“Bill died almost seven years ago and said we should do something for the community at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I got to thinking that there is nothing done at Easter time,” Marcella recalled on how it got started.
Thus, her daughter’s family, herself and oodles of volunteers will be serving customers that day.
This year, however, tickets have to be obtained in order for those who plan to eat on Easter, which falls on April 16.
“You have to have a ticket to eat,” Murphy said. “They can be obtained at the CAC, the Food Bank on Water Street, at the Kids Learning Center and we have some here. It’s all free. If you get tickets, please use them, if not, give them to someone who will use them.”
Those public servants, such as sheriff’s deputies, police, fire and rescue on duty, can take part that day and they don’t need a ticket, she said.
On Easter Sunday, the food will be served in three one-hour shifts, from 11 a.m. to noon, from noon to 1 p.m. and 1 to 2 p.m.
“At the most, we’ve had between 230 and 240,” she said. “The first year went real good.”
This meal is for the citizens of Darke County who need a meal and don’t want to eat alone,” Murphy said.
The menu varies form year to year and planned for this year are roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable, dinner roll and Texas sheet cake as well as coffee, tea, water or orange drink.
“It’s a long day for me,” said the former Marcella Ross. “We are usually open on Sunday, but we’re closed that day except for the Easter dinner. The volunteers must love doing this or they wouldn’t come Easter Sunday and donate their time.”
She said she sets up a buffet in the lobby/foyer area on Easter Sunday, which people of all ages and walks of life participating in the feast.
“We want people to come and enjoy it,” she said. “This is our family’s Easter.”
Donors this year are: Winner’s Meat Farm, Eikenberry’s, Walker Construction, Sysco Foods, McVay’s Dairy, Matt Light Foundation, Commercial Printing Co., Miami Valley Vending and all volunteers and private donors.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.