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Stafford woman who wants to help others plans a community dinner Saturday at King George Elementary School
Dale Clift, 72, hasn't let a variety of ailments keep her from producing a holiday meal for about 800 people.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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"She is a lady with limited means and an unlimited determination," Jett said. Beyond that--and the fact she's on oxygen 24 hours a day and uses a walker--Clift has a heart for helping those who are hurting, Jett said.
And if she could overcome her own physical issues, including heart and lung disease, diabetes and arthritis, and use her cafeteria background to organize a dinner, then others would do whatever they could to help, he added.
Clift, whom Jett described as "an organizer beyond belief," has lined up about 80 helpers to greet people, cook, serve, set up the school before the dinner and clean up afterward.
Fellow church members, along with family and friends, will provide a craft for children and put together goodie bags for them.
"It's almost like a Christmas miracle," Jett said.
Clift and her late husband always have shared what they had with others, Trautmann said. John Clift served in the Marine Corps twice and helped his children build their homes.
One son, Monty, is a detective in King George County, and the other, Forrest, does public relations at a college in Michigan. He's working on his doctorate to become a school principal.
"We were raised with the idea the door's always open and anyone we brought by was always welcome for dinner," Trautmann said. "Mom's always been like that. Sometimes, she doesn't know when to quit."
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425