Yuletide organizer Vanessa Riplinger gets some cuddles from little Franck Tayo.

Photo gallery: Yuletide Dinner a team effort for the community

More than 550 plates served at annual Christmas event

Sacred Heart Hall was turned into a festive scene Wednesday evening where hundreds of guests dined on a traditional Christmas dinner and visited one another at the annual Yuletide Dinner.

“Dinner was great,” said Dave Madden, who brought his family of six to the free community dinner.

“It’s great. There are lots of people and it’s a good environment for the kids.”

In all, 560 plates of food were served to men, women and children, which required the cooking of 35 turkeys, 12 hams and 60 litres of gravy.

“That’s a gas tank of gravy,” joked chef Brice O’Neill as he served up the meals alongside dozens of other volunteers.

“It’s a big team effort. It’s fun. I love it. I love cooking and I love serving the community. It’s not very often that you get to serve 500 people in Williams Lake.”

The event is organized by the Child Development Centre, Sacred Heart’s St. Vincent de Paul and O’Neill.

Wayne David brought along his two granddaughters, who clearly enjoyed all the attention they received from being so happy at the dinner.

“It’s awesome,” David said. “It seems everybody knows everybody. It’s like a family gathering. It’s nice.”

Besides the delicious meal, which many children said was their favourite part, children also received homemade Christmas stockings filled with books, candy, toothbrushes and soap.

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Samantha Duncan and her son Breyson Sellars enjoys a turkey and ham dinner with all the fixings.

Breandan Wycotte, 10, (left) and his brother Aidan, 11, each received a homemade Christmas stocking filled with gifts such as a book, toothbrush, tooth paste and candy at the Yuletide Dinner. The boys went to the event with their Auntie Nicole Sargent.

Thor Madden, 7, and his dad Dave were all smiles at the Yuletide Dinner Wednesday evening. Thor’s three siblings, Jestina, Luke and Rebecca and mom Stephanie Shaw were sitting across the table from the two, making it a lovely family night out.

Youth worker Kelly Culbert and RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron help out at the Yuletide Dinner.

The Madden — Rebecca, 5, (from left), Luke, 2, mom Stephanie Shaw, and Jestina, 5 — enjoyed attending the Yuletide Dinner for the second time Wednesday. The Sacred Heart Hall was transformed with beautiful Christmas decorations and lights, which added to the ambiance of the evening.

Midget Timberwolves players were treated to a nice Christmas dinner before volunteering to do all the heavy lifting to help clean up after the community event.

Volunteers take a short break between serving more than 550 people at the Yuletide Dinner.

It was a beautiful, festive and delicious feast Wednesday night at the annual Yuletide Dinner held at the Sacred Heart Hall. All told, 35 turkeys, 12 hams and 60 litres of gravy were among the foods consumed at the event, which is a joint effort between the Child Development Centre, Sacred Heart’s St. Vincent de Paul Society and chef Brice O’Neill and his sous chef, Kathy Turner and many, many more volunteers.

Rose Pinchbeck helped in the food serving line, which was a great team effort.

Hundreds of people took in the Yuletide Dinner Wednesday evening at the Sacred Heart Hall.

Angie Mindus photo Dave Dickson (centre from left) and Leigh Pinette (right) were among some of the many volunteers on hand at the annual Yuletide Dinner Wednesday evening.

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