HD Youth Center Hosts Christmas Dinner

By Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter

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By Brady Smith

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - "Times are a little hard and I work a lot, Henry always was there," said Jamie Perkins of Cedar Rapids, as she sat down for the HD Youth Center's annual Christmas dinner.

For 7 years now, the HD Youth Center has come through for Perkins whenever she's been in need. She's been coming to these Christmas dinners since she moved to Cedar Rapids in 2005.

"My son here, we come here and we support Henry Davison and the HD Youth Center all the time," said Perkins. "Henry fed them, and always supplied after school snacks and stuff."

She and her son Jamie are just one family out of hundreds who turn out every year to get a special meal and other supplies they might not otherwise be able to afford.

In the kitchen upstairs, Gene Kemmerer and his troop of volunteer chefs cook as fast as they can to feed the more than 800 people downstairs.

"We'll probably use about 16 gallons of beans today and about 18 gallons of corn," said Kemmerer, also pointing out pans full of turkey and ham.

And who could forget the gravy?

"There's about two and a half gallons in there," said Kemmerer, who's been behind the scenes at this event for 16 years, and doesn't see an end in sight. "There's a lot of people who need this type of service."

It's one of many services the center provides, but possibly the most important one is bringing families and friends together.

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