By Cody Willoughby
TROY — For students at Troy Christian Schools, Thanksgiving dinner came early.
On Friday, Nov. 17, the school held its annual feast for the student body in the commons and gymnasium area, with food service beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Troy Christian Schools, which let out for the entire week of Thanksgiving, has settled into holding the feast on the Friday before the holiday break. Students were encouraged to come in Thanksgiving-oriented costumes, many of which were made as part of regular activities during schooltime hours.
Gary Wilbur, superintendent of Troy Christian Schools, considers upholding the tradition of the yearly feast to be of paramount importance.
“The Thanksgiving feast has been a tradition here since the school started in 1980,” Wilbur said. “We think it’s important for the whole school to come together just once a year and have a meal together. We try to emphasize how vital it is to be grateful for the blessing we’ve been given, and just how many things in our lives there are to be grateful for.”
A large part of the tradition has entailed all students chipping in toward preparations for the feast.
“In years past, each grade would be responsible for making something entirely from scratch,” Wilbur said. “One grade would prepare noodles, and another would do corn, and so on. There were 37 students present for the first feast we did. Troy Christian has over 850 students now, and about 450 are present at this feast today.”
The Thanksgiving feast has been a tradition at Troy Christian Schools for so long, there are now alumni who are grown that come back to take part in the festivities, including some students at high school level who are readying for graduation.
“We have some seniors here from TCHS here to celebrate with the youngest kids. This was a tradition they had experienced earlier in their school tenures, and some of them are here to serve, give back, and be part of the memory one more time.” Wilbur said.
“It’s great that they continue to do this,” said James Anderson, a senior at Troy Christian High School. “I know I used to look forward to it every year. I loved just hanging out with my friends and pigging out on good food. It’s a good memory to have carried on with me.”
“I remember this being a part of my year all the way back in kindergarten,” said Kathryn Lee, another TCHS senior. “I’m happy to be here today.”
For more information, visit troychristianschools.org.