Tonawanda News

November 28, 2013

NT students hold an early Thanksgiving feast

Nearly 200 students and faculty took part in the school's traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner

BARBARA TUCKER barbara.tucker@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The vote’s in: Thanksgiving means turkey.

That was the opinion of the nearly 200 students at St. Francis of Assisi School in the City of Tonawanda on Monday as they dug into a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including cranberry sauce.

Especially Ryan Harris, a fourth-grader, who said he “loved cranberries. I took three helpings,” he pointed out.

Of course, not everyone is a turkey fan.

Take kindergartner Madison Smith, for instance, who would rather have “mac and cheese” or second-grader, Travis Hoffman, who although turkey and mashed potatoes are OK, said his favorite on Thanksgiving was a banana split for dessert.

“It’s my favorite dessert and we’ll have that,” he said.

Prior to lunch, which was hosted by the Home School Association, the kindergartners, dressed in Pilgrim garb, entertained with a Thanksgiving song, and received rousing applause.

Watching the whole event with delight and smiles was Robert Agbo, a seminarian from Nigeria, who was experiencing his first American Thanksgiving.

“I’ve heard about how loved the day is by the people,” he said. “I attend the Buffalo diocese seminary and stay here at the rectory on holidays. To show the level of importance of the feast, the seminary gives us the whole week off.” 

Looking around at the crowded cafeteria, he added, “This is a wonderful principal and teachers who have this.”

Agbo explained that in Nigeria, there are also days of thanksgiving when people gather to pray and thank God for what they have.

“Each church decides what day they will have. Here (in America) it is a very strong religious theme.”

Aiden Deyell, a fifth-grader, agreed, saying that he was thankful for seeing his family. “Oh, yeah, and the turkey.”

“The day’s a lot of fun,” Jacob Neumeister, an eighth-grader, said.

“I help my nana make a pie,” eighth-grader Caitlin McMahon said, adding that her grandmother makes great pies.

Fourth-grader Brett Verrall agreed with the comments about Thanksgiving, but added “don’t forget we get a couple of days off,” which brought nodded agreement from those sitting at his table.

Maddie Sowinski, an eighth-grader, said she, too, helps her grandmother make pumpkin pie. “And I don’t even really like pumpkin pie,” she admitted.

Jacob Frederiksen, a fifth-grader, really likes mashed potatoes and gravy. “And my mom is a good cook.”

Perhaps seventh-grader Haley Nason summed up Thanksgiving best.

“The food’s good and we’ll celebrate at my aunt’s with family and friends from Syracuse and New York City,” he said. “But it is a good time to show thanks to God and appreciate what we have.”