Thanksgiving came early to Hockinson High School with the Developmental Resource Room’s annual Thanksgiving Feast.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” said senior Jared McGraw, who helped with the mashed potatoes. “We work fast.”
“It’s fun,” said freshman Molly Isaacson, who peeled the potatoes and made cranberry sauce. Asked her favorite part of putting on the Feast, she didn’t hesitate: “Eating it!”
The event draws students, teachers, families and community members for turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rice crispy bars and more. And this year, most of the ingredients—from the turkeys to the apple cider—were donated by Hockinson High School staff members.
“The kids are so proud and take a lot of pride in putting on a dinner party,” said French teacher Steve Cookson. “I think it’s one of the highlights of every year.”
“What I think is cool is that we’re pulling together for kids and around kids,” said Principal Colleen Anders.
The Feast is a way for the students to express their thanks to the community, including the community work supervisors who welcome students into their businesses to volunteer and gain employment skills.
This year’s event happened to coincide with the last day on the job for District 3 Fire Chief Steve Wrightson, one of the first supporters of the Developmental Resource Room’s efforts to get their students out in the community for skill building.
“They clean windows, vacuum, take out garbage. We love having them there,” Wrightson said of the students who work at the station. “We have a shredding project for one of the students who likes to shred papers—we’re saving up paper for him.”
Wrightson and his fire station crew have helped inspire the group to continue offering their Feast, and at today’s event Wrightson was honored with a thank-you banner and presentation, plus a scrapbook filled with photos and notes of thanks.
“It’s been a really wonderful relationship,” Wrightson reflected. “I’ve been blessed.”