CASMAN Academy, Trinity Lutheran students celebrate Thanksgiving

MANISTEE — The aroma of roast turkey with all the trimmings was in the air at CASMAN Academy gymnasium on Tuesday when students, staff and board members enjoyed their annual Thanksgiving feast.

CASMAN Academy students celebrated their annual Thanksgiving Feast dinner on Tuesday at the school. Local members of law enforcement and fire departments worked as servers on the dinner that was prepared by staff and volunteers.

CASMAN Academy students celebrated their annual Thanksgiving Feast dinner on Tuesday at the school. Local members of law enforcement and fire departments worked as servers on the dinner that was prepared by staff and volunteers.

At the same time students from Trinity Lutheran School second to fourth grade classes of Tina Fisk were honoring a 25-year tradition by inviting family members and friends to enjoy a special holiday meal. What was evident at both locations was plenty of fellowship and good feelings for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

CASMAN Academy director Shelly VanVoorst said the students look forward to this day with great anticipation every year. Students had an added surprise this year when guest servers were members of the Manistee City Police, Fire Department, Manistee County Sheriff’s Office and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Department of Public Safety.

“Between our staff and volunteers we create a complete Thanksgiving dinner from the fresh turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, squash, vegetables, rolls and desserts,” said VanVoorst. “The local law enforcement, fire department and volunteers are all helping us serve, so that is pretty cool.”

VanVoorst said from the start of the day the students were counting down the time until the feast. She said the students even get the opportunity to enjoy leftovers that are sent home with them because for a few it may be their only Thanksgiving celebration.

“Oh my gosh, they have been hooting and hollering and saying ‘we are ready’ all morning,” said VanVoorst. “The best part is we know that we make too much food, but we have ‘to go’ boxes which we send it home with the kids after the meal. We are all like family here and that makes a difference. They love it.”

At Trinity Lutheran School, students were excited about getting the opportunity to put together their annual family class dinner. Fisk said this has been a long standing tradition with students in her class.

“We always do it right with Thanksgiving and invite our families to come and have dinner with us,” said Fisk. “We do some short program that is either a skit or a play. The kids all help in preparing for the meal so it is a good opportunity for some kids to learn how to make some pudding or cut some vegetables and things like that.”

Students from Tina Fisk's class at Trinity Lutheran School celebrated a 25 year tradition by holding the annual family class dinner at the school. Students from the class assisted in preparing some of the food for family and friends who were invited to the dinner.

Students from Tina Fisk’s class at Trinity Lutheran School celebrated a 25 year tradition by holding the annual family class dinner at the school. Students from the class assisted in preparing some of the food for family and friends who were invited to the dinner.

Fisk said the students also learn the proper way to set a table and they make some party favors and decorations the students can take home and use with their family.

“We usually teach them prayers they can use to say thank you in their blessings with their families,” said Fisk. “Then we just take an hour or so to eat and enjoy each other’s company. It is a fun tradition and the kids love it.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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