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Annual meal on tap

November 18, 2010
By MIKE HUGHES, Prime Times

MORRISTOWN - Senior citizens residing in the Union Local school district will be in for a special holiday treat Thursday.

The annual Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Union Local Middle School student council will take place from 4-5 p.m. at the middle-school gymnasium.

''We usually get a pretty decent turnout, between 250-300 people,'' said Melissa Steadman, a teacher at ULMS and the advisor to student council.

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UNION?LOCAL Middle School Student Council members Shayna McGary, president, Patrick Abboud, vice president, and Ellie Frazier, secretary, are ready for the annual Senior Citizen Thanksgiving dinner slated for Thursday from 4-5 p.m. Not pictured is Griffy Girty, treasurer.

Seniors can enjoy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, along with dessert and drinks, free of charge.

The turkeys were provided by the Flushing Ruritan. Other local businesses making donations include: Kroger, Walmart, Mehlman's Cafeteria, Bethesda market, the Centerville Senior Center along with the Quiznos and McDonalds in Belmont.

Parent volunteers have offered their services to cook the turkey and bring it to the cafeteria the day of the dinner.

The 44 students that comprise the middle school's student council have also been charged with supplying a hot-food item of their choice to the feast.

The students will also help set up the day of the dinner and assist in serving, carrying trays and refreshments and talking with the seniors. It's a busy day for the council members.

''They also make a little craft for the seniors, this year it's a little wreath,'' Steadman said. ''Each person is given some type of craft.

''It's amazing and I always get stressed out, but the students do such a good job and they really enjoy it.

Once the food is brought to the cafeteria, Kathy Fowkes handles the final cooking and food preparation, joined by parent volunteers.

Steadman said the event generally wraps up at 5 p.m. But if there are a few stragglers or patrons still dining at 5, they won't be ushered out the door.

Afterward, there is Turkey Bingo held at the high school as a fundraiser for the basketball teams. Steadman said a lot of the seniors gravitate from the dinner to the bingo, where they are joined by other residents of the community.

Hughes may be reached at



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