Goff Middle School students and staff gathered for good food, fellowship and cooperation at its annual Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday in the school gym. A warm and inviting buffet featured turkey with all the trimmings, including mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, apples and yams, cranberry sauce and an assortment of desserts.
The cherished tradition has taken place, in one form or another, for more than 20 years.
The event began many years ago with Carol Bluhm, a retired Questar III employee starting the event as a way of enriching her Life Skills curriculum and thanking the Goff community for its support of the Questar classes that were taught in the building.
The event has evolved over the years through various changes in staff and support.
“The common thread is a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration,” said Special Education Teacher Tammy Kirwin, who now coordinates the event.
With the recent departure of Questar staff and students, this year’s version leaned more heavily on East Greenbush Central School District resources than any other year, but the school community responded as expected with many people volunteering.
“The Thanksgiving Feast is an event that the staff looks forward to each year,” said Principal Jill Barker. “It is a time for people to come together to contribute to the feast and spend time together socializing and eating delicious food. The feast also provides opportunities for our students to participate and develop their skills in food preparation and food service. It is a team effort and a day appreciated by all.”
Special thanks to the following people and organizations for supporting this wonderful event:
- Price Chopper, Hannaford, Shop Rite and Zachary’s Pastry Shop for donating food and desserts
- Goff PTO, East Greenbush Teachers Association and Goff Middle School staff for making generous financial contributions
- The Transportation Department for driving staff and students from Goff’s Primary Instruction ELA Program to BJ’s Wholesale Club so they could shop for supplies
- Goff kitchen staff for donating and roasting turkey breasts and making gravy
- Goff’s Student Council for purchasing beverages and ingredients for sweet potato casseroles
- Patty Dority for purchasing ingredients for green bean casseroles and having her Family and Consumer Science classes put them together
- Joanne Allen and Dome Club for making decorations and helping to serve students and staff
- Lauren Crispino and her students for making centerpieces and assisting throughout the day of the feast
- David Greene and his students for making centerpieces
- Six selfless Goff staff members for roasting turkeys overnight and bringing them to school warm, including Helen and Walter Koshykar
- Staff and students from Goff’s MAP program for peeling and cutting potatoes, which were then mashed after school by Kathy O’Leary, Mary Plumer and Carla Orciuoli, while Karen Green made stuffing
- Goff’s outstanding custodial staff for moving supplies, cheerfully setting up tables, chairs and waste bins and then breaking down the event at the end of the day
- Technology teacher John Cirincione for providing power strips
- Physical Education teacher Curtis Sankey for filling coolers with ice
- Board of Education member John Dunn and Social Worker Jamie Eggleston for carving turkeys
- Board of Education member JoAnn Taylor and her husband Steve, a former staff member, for helping setup and serve the meal. At the end of the event, they brought all leftovers to the Albany City Mission.