School Feast

Third-grade students (l-r) Lizbeth Cruz and David Galvan enjoy a Thanksgiving feast in their classroom at Hutchins Elementary School last week.  The students dressed up in pilgrim and Native American head wear for their holiday celebration while teacher Cynthia Nafegar asked students to share what they are thankful for.

Turkey, dressing and all the fixins’ will be served to 2,000 attendees at this year’s Community-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner. The event, open free-of-charge to locals and out-of-towners, is hosted by the El Campo Community Events volunteer group.

“We just don’t want you to be alone on Thanksgiving Day,” ECCE President Hector Gutierrez said. “You have a place to come on out and socialize, meet and talk to other people, have dinner with them and enjoy the day of Thanksgiving.”

Food will be served beginning at 11 a.m. and the event lasts until 1 p.m on Thursday, Nov. 28 at the El Campo Civic Center, 2350 Mechanic Street. Volunteers, which are always welcome, should arrive at 10 a.m.

The event costs $10,000, according to Gutierrez money coming solely from donations.

Last year, 1,800 people attended and more than 300 volunteers showed up to help run the event. It was the largest turn out for volunteers in the event’s history.

“The community has been very generous in helping us put this on,” Gutierrez said.

A mix of families, individuals and El Campoans of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds show up for the community dinner each year.

“Whether you’re rich, or poor or barely making it, it’s for everybody,” Gutierrez said.

Werner’s Restaurant located in Shiner will be catering the meal, except for dessert. The ECCE asks community members to donate cookies, cakes, pies or other treats, which can be dropped off at the Civic Center starting at 8:30 a.m. the day of the event.

Those interested in making monetary donations can contribute to the ECCE’s account at First State Bank in El Campo, 1808 West Loop, and those interested in volunteering just have to show up on Nov. 28.

“If you just want to volunteer, come on over,” Gutierrez said. “Send the kids, send the parents just to help out.”

Adult volunteers will deliver plates to home-bound El Campoans, who can request a meal by calling 543-5073 and providing their name, address and phone number.

“It’s a great day to come on out and give thanks for what we have and for what the community has done,” Gutierrez said. “It’s a great community.”

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