HANDLEY, W.Va. -- Each year for the last decade, residents in Handley fill the town's community center and feast -- on turkey, ham, potatoes, vegetables and desserts -- as part of the town's free Christmas dinner.
But for such a large meal, a relatively small item provides funding: hot dogs.
"In a small town, we just don't have the money to fork over for a party," said Debbie Matics, Handley's clerk and a member of the Handley Community Volunteer Group, which provides the dinner.
Once a month, usually on the first Friday, the volunteer group heads down to the Handley Community Center and starts making hot dogs to sell from the center.
"We start at 11 (a.m.) until we run out," Matics said.
The hot dogs are for sale at the center, and the group does make deliveries to the area, from shut-ins to local businesses and Montgomery General Hospital. Some businesses buy several dozen hot dogs each month, Matics said.
The money from the hot dog sales throughout the year not only pays for the Christmas dinner, but also funds the town's Halloween party in October.
This year, the Christmas dinner was to include baked steak in addition to the four turkeys, two hams and all the side dishes. For dessert, diners will also be able to choose from five cakes and five pies.
"It's a big dinner," Matics said. "Sometimes there's no sitting room. You have to wait for a spot."
Since the dinner began in 2002, it's grown from about 50 or 60 people attending to more than 125. The group is even expecting more this year.
"Every year it gets a little bit bigger," said Jeanie Campbell, a member of the volunteer group. "They look forward to it."
Every one of Handley's roughly 350 residents is invited, as are older adults in nearby communities who are members of the town's senior citizens group.
"I think for a small town, we do really good," Campbell said.