'Just to see the joy on people's faces was priceless'

'Just to see the joy on people's faces was priceless'

EUGENE, Ore. -- After working to prepare thanksgiving dinners for the Whiteaker Community, Lemuel Wilson has become somewhat of a professional at preparing a turkey.

"Once you get a couple underneath your belt they seem to go a lot faster." said Wilson.

Lemuel and a few dozen of his Culinary Arts classmates spent Saturday slicing and dicing at Lane Community College to prepare ingredients for the 24th annual Whiteaker Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

"This is my dream job. I love to cook, I do all of the thanksgivings for our family." Wilson said.

The group of students took on preparing 1,500 pounds of turkey for the Thanksgiving Day meal held at the Whiteaker Community Head Start Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

As for the sides, Whiteaker Community Dinners Coordinator Ron Pike said that they have plenty of fresh produce to accompany the roasted birds.

"We're gonna serve about 400 pounds of yams, in pretty large quantities," Pike said. " When you are dealing with 2,500 people you need a lot of food."

Pike added that he sees a lot of the same faces each year, and Lemuel's is one of them.

Wilson said that he helps out with the annual dinner to support the community. 

"My first year was last year ... and just to see the joy on people's faces was priceless to me." Wilson said.