Heaping helpings of hospitality | PostIndependent.com

Heaping helpings of hospitality

Amanda Holt Miller
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent/Kelley CoxRoaring Fork High School student council members held its annual turkey dinner Wednesday evening. Left to right, sophomore Nicole Smeins, sophomore Leslie French and senior Jessica Smeins dish it up.

CARBONDALE ” ‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the halls of Roaring Fork High School wafted the warm aromas that could have come from grandmother’s kitchen.

The RFHS student council organized a special Thanksgiving dinner for anyone in the community who needed one. This is the fifth year students have mashed potatoes, roasted turkey and made deviled eggs for the occasion.

“All the food here was prepared by the students or their parents,” said senior Skylar McAllister, co-student council president.

Last year the event was canceled.

“I think the kids all sat down and decided they weren’t getting the turnout they wanted and they weren’t getting their target population,” said Laura French, the student council sponsor. “When this initially started we didn’t know how to reach, and we still really don’t, our target population.”

This year, the students hoped extra marketing would help their cause. They put posters up throughout the community and contacted local media. They advertised the event as a “dinner for anyone in need of one.”

“It’s for people who don’t have family in town, maybe they’re alone,” said senior Laura Wright, co-student council president. “Some homeless people have come in the past, people who have big families with a lot of kids who can’t afford to buy everything they need to make a big dinner.”

Those are the folks student council members hoped would come out for their free Thanksgiving dinner the night before the big day. At a little after 5:30 p.m. Tim, who didn’t want to share his last name, was the first dinner guest.

“I read in the paper that they were having a turkey dinner here,” Tim said. “I was working in the area and thought I’d stop to check it out.”

At almost 6 p.m. the volunteers had abandoned their serving stations, for lack of anyone to serve, and played board games in the center of the school’s entryway.

French said the event has never been very well-attended. The second year, about 50 people came for dinner and that was the largest turnout.

“There are never very many people, but I think it’s really great for the people who do come,” Wright said. “I really enjoy going around and talking to the people and playing games. Sometimes there are little kids.”

The Thanksgiving dinner is just one among many service projects the RFHS student council organizes.

“Those of us who work with these kids know that they do great things,” French said. “They do a really good job with this.”

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