The day was reserved for the “school family” at Bradley Gardens Primary School to celebrate Thanksgiving together on Wednesday, November 16.
The entire student body and staff were treated to a Thanksgiving meal that featured turkey and all the trimmings in the school’s gymnasium just over a week before the actual holiday is celebrated throughout the world.
The early start to Turkey Day was planned and directed by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the family-type setting was titled the Bradley Gardens Thanksgiving Feast.
At 12:30 p.m. on this day, PTO co-presidents Melinda Harz and Annie Qureshi and a hard-working team of over 20 volunteer parents served the meals to the school’s students and staff.
“All students and staff joined together as a family to share a full Thanksgiving dinner,” Bradley Gardens Principal Barbara Binford explained. “This has been such a positive event that we want to continue to provide our students with this worthwhile and meaningful experience. This gathering is a special occasion celebrated at Bradley Gardens School in remembrance and in keeping up with the spirit of the first Thanksgiving.”
This tasty event, which was catered by Mangia Buono Caterers in Raritan, signaled the 14th year that the school served the dinner. But due to Covid, this was the first meal since 2019.
A return to the dinner table was well appreciated.
“This is a beautiful tradition,” Ms. Harz said while she was helping prepare the meals that day.
Ms. Qureshi was moved by the dinner that brought everyone together in the gym.
“This is our school family,” Ms. Qureshi proclaimed. “There is a soccer family and a hockey family but we here are our school family.”
The act of giving continued after the meals were completed.
“We will bring the leftover food to the Brahma House, which is a non-profit shelter for children in Bridgewater,” Ms. Qureshi revealed.
The feast also featured centerpieces that spruced up every table. And a contest for the best centerpiece was staged.
And the winner was……..
Isabella Garcia, a Pre-K student, was declared the winner as her colorful turkey caught the eyes of the volunteer workers who also served as judges.
A $25 gift card to a local food market was presented to the recipient.
“It truly is a day that solidifies how we are all family,” Principal Binford said. “And we will be extra grateful this year as we remember the years lost and the journey ahead of us.”