A record number of seniors served a Thanksgiving feast

Post date: Nov 29, 2016 12:6:32 PM

Eighth grade students and staff at Wells Junior High School presented their 22nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for area seniors on November 20th. According to organizers, a record 550 area seniors were served a traditional holiday feast including dessert and coffee. For those unable to attend, numerous boxed dinners were prepared and delivered.

This popular event is not only a gesture of goodwill offered to the community but a ‘service learning’ project for all eighth grade students who make decorations and table settings, check coats, serve food, wait on tables and help with cleanup. Most of the school’s 88 eighth graders were present and dressed in white shirts and black slacks. As in previous years, a valet service was provided by a small group of Wells High School students.

“The kids that run this…and serve do a wonderful job,” said Rita Baer who, with husband Stan, have been attending this dinner for some time. “They’re very sweet, they’re very kind” she added.

Along with the students, those that helped make this event possible included Wells IGA Super Food Market for donating 27 turkeys cooked by Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant and Bakery and carved by Roger and June Messier. The WJHS School Nutrition Services staff, led by Lisa Currie, prepared mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash and gravy and Dunkin Doughnuts of Wells donated the coffee. In addition, various school staff baked a selection of pies. Eighth grade student Negel Martell filled the dining room with piano music joined at times by singing students and others.

Julie Esch, an eighth grade English Language Arts (ELS) teacher at WJHS, said that the dinner is the culmination of a Generations Unit studied in ELA classes. In this unit students study issues relating to aging in today’s society and visit residents at Sentry Hill in York Harbor.

Along with students, over 20 staff and others contributed time and effort in preparation of this enormous project including, but not limited to, Gary Leech of Congdons, and WJHS staff Julie Esch, Vicki Aldridge, Linda Gaidimas, Susie Dugovic, Principal Robert Griffin, and Assistant Principal A.J. Dufort.

A group photo of Wells Junior High School’s eighth grade students at WJHS just prior to this year’s 22nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner where 550 were served a Thanksgiving meal.

The WJHS Annual Thanksgiving Dinner can sometimes involve entire families. Here is an example from this year’s dinner which served 550 and employed almost 88 students: From left to right is WJHS ELA teacher Tasha Potter, her sons, Jonah Potter (an 8th grade student), Nolan Potter (a junior at Wells High School, member of the WHS Warrior Football Team and helper at the dinner), and (seated) Tasha Potter’s parents Sandra Walker and Robert Walker (Mr. Walker a former teacher at Kennebunk and Noble high schools).