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Blue Dolphin offering meals and gifts on Christmas

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A Kalamazoo business is making sure no one goes without a Christmas meal.

For the 39th year, a family restaurant will serve meals to anyone tomorrow, free of charge.

But this year will be different, because of what's gone and what's new.

Starting at noon tomorrow until 3 p.m., the Blue Dolphin on Burdick Street is offering a free Christmas dinner, something owner Steve Stamos has been dishing out for a while.

Steve Stamos, Owner of the Blue Dolphin

"For 39 years, yeah, started when I was 17, and I'm 56," Steve Stamos, owner of the Blue Dolphin, said. "In the first year we served about 80 people. In the next year we served about 150, and the next year we served about 300, And, it built from there."

This year's spread - a prime rib, ham or a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and bread - Stamos can't wait to fill the restaurant, but this year they'll miss some expected help.

"Over the years, we've lost some good friends and some people who have helped almost since the start,” Stamos said. “A gentleman named Charlie, we lost him seven or eight years ago. A gentleman named Earl, we lost him seven years ago. My father we lost two years ago, and we just lost a good friend of ours, bill, just a month ago."

While some have moved on, new friends are helping with something new this year: some presents for kids.

"Betsy made all of these handbags herself,” Stamos said. “She supplied everyone with a book and a stuffed animal, out of her own pocket."

And, the trio of gifts all match; they'll be given to kids first come, first serve.

"It was actually a surprise to us, and it just boggled my mind the amount," Stamos said. "What we really found out is it's more about fellowship and companionship. I have more people that walk in this door that had money, but have no family. We really find that it's more about fellowship."

Blue Dolphin will serve meals from noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow, and everyone is welcome.

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