HHS teens develop their culinary and leadership skills

  • Mini food baskets are given to residents attending Honokaa High School’s Thanksgiving dinner to take home, in addition to the hot meal they’re served in the cafeteria the day before the holiday. This year, students are also preparing 200 kid-friendly mini bags to give away. (COURTESY PHOTO/HHS)

HONOKAA — Students in Honokaa High School’s Leadership Training Program will host the annual community Thanksgiving dinner from 5 to 7:30 p.m. this Wednesday in the school cafeteria.

The teens not only plan the event, but also prepare the salad, sweet potatoes and hot vegetables. Stuffing and gravy are being donated by Paniolo Country restaurant in Waimea.

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This is the school’s eleventh year offering a free turkey dinner the day before Thanksgiving. The meal is open to everyone, and donations are still being accepting to fund the meal.

Sponsored in part by Honokaa High School, the dinner is one of several service projects planned and implemented for the community through the teens’ practice of student leadership. Turkeys purchased with event monetary donations will be prepared by the culinary staff at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel.

“This year we are fortunate that Ka Hana No`eau Hamakua will be doing children’s activities at the event,” Angella Brandt said, HHS’ student activities coordinator. “There will be games, face painting and lots of prizes. We’ll also have entertainment and door prizes for adults. All are welcome to attend and we encourage families to join us at this celebration.”

The event serves as an opportunity for the school and community to come together for a celebration of thanks. In addition, meals are delivered to the homebound in the Honokaa area who request this service, which includes Honokaa, Kukuihaele, Haina, Pa`auhau and Kalopa. If interested or know someone who is homebound and would like a meal delivered to them, call Kieran Lo, Shania Ebreo or Angella Brandt at 775-800, ext. 3137060.

The Thanksgiving dinner has been made possible in years past through generous donations from school classes and clubs, as well as community organizations, individuals and the fundraising efforts led by students in the Leadership Training Program.

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“We were able to distribute more than 800 turkey dinners during last year’s event, including over 300 to shut-ins in our community,” Brandt said. “We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have contributed to this dinner in the past. Without the generosity of these community members, this dinner would not have been possible.”

To make a monetary donation for this year’s dinner, contact Angella Brandt at 775-8800, extension 3137060, or email angella_brandt@notes.k12.hi.us.

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