Thanksgiving is about tradition, and nowhere is the tradition of giving more apparent than in the Mahopac School District. Its years-old custom of giving back via fundraisers and gift baskets celebrates community, as students, parents, teachers and staff go all out to help families in need.
Mahopac Middle School provided Thanksgiving dinner to 33 area families in need, including turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, pie, and “You name it,” said Lynne Mongon, who coordinated the giving at MMS. They also set up a “pantry” full of staples that recipients could shop from, including flour, sugar, oil, cereal, fruit, baby food, desserts, veggies, and crackers, among other things. The fire departments and local businesses donated turkeys, a local businessman donated 100 pounds of potatoes, and area stores donated gift cards. “It was a true team effort from the community,” said MMS Principal Vince DiGrandi.
Fulmar Road’s annual food drive supports families in need in the school. Students and staff collected things like cranberry sauce, stuffing and other ingredients for Thanksgiving meals, in addition to staples such as paper towels and pasta.
Austin Road collected donations and bought gift cards for families in need in its community, with each family receiving a grocery-store gift card for $125.
And at Mahopac High School, boxes and bags of food poured in to help create an abundance of giving to share with those in need. More than 40 baskets were distributed to help families have a traditional Thanksgiving meal. This annual event was organized by high school social workers Kristel Halton, Jenn Stytzer, Davia Bugge and Valerie Trefny and included help from Mahopac’s school counselors, custodians, teachers, students, parents, clubs, and administrators.
Said Kristel Halton, “Mahopac High School is committed to making community service a priority and promoting empathy and resiliency through acts of kindness. I feel very grateful to be part of a wonderful community.”