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Volunteers prepare to serve huge meal in Milwaukee

Volunteers prepare to serve huge meal in Milwaukee

By Todd Hicks. CREATED Dec 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Volunteers spent Christmas Eve at the Delta Center preparing for a massive meal, one that's become an annual tradition in Milwaukee.

The meal is the meaning of Christmas for Chandra Staples.  "We just want to open up somebody's heart," Staples said.

Staples is just one of hundreds who put on the Christmas Family Feast.  This is the 23rd year for the dinner served to anyone looking for a holiday meal.

Chef Gus Kelley has a lot of work to do.  "We're going to try to serve about seven thousand but were preparing for ten."

Preparing hundreds of turkeys, hams and fixings is no simple task.

But Kelley says you just have to make everything bigger.  "It's like anything else you just have to start counting adding up numbers and looking up recipes."

The children attending tomorrow's meal won't only leave with a full stomach, they also have something to remember their very special day, a toy.

It's a special day for thousands who otherwise might not have anywhere else to go.

"Holidays can be a tough time for a lot of people, so I'm looking forward to seeing the multitude here tomorrow," Staples said.

Organizers say they simply wouldn't be able to pull this off if it wasn't for volunteers.

Todd Hicks

Todd Hicks

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Todd Hicks joined TODAY'S TMJ4 after working at WGBA in Green Bay, where he was an anchor and reporter for the NBC affiliate.