Mission students serve turkey dinner

Close to 200 guests expected to attend High Schools Have Heart dinner

More than 100 Mission high school students will try to make the holiday season merrier this weekend for those who need a little bit of help.

Mission school district’s annual Community Christmas Dinner will be held on Dec. 13 at Heritage Park School.

Students will be cooking and serving the meal, with help from community supporters and teachers, said Wade peary, principal at Riverside College, who came up with the idea six years ago after attending a We Day conference in Vancouver. The We Day movement encourages youth to make a difference in their community and the world.

“The adults take a back seat,” Peary explained. “We want to encourage kids to give back to their community.”

Guests will be treated to a turkey dinner with all the fixings, like stuffing, mixed vegetables, gravy, mashed potatoes, and pie.

“It will be quite the meal,” said Peary, adding the cooks will be working under the direction of Heritage Park’s Red Seal chef Peter Bucher. There will be school choirs singing during the meal and student elves visiting with guests.

Guests will receive some gifts, such as toiletries, warm blankets, or clothing, and children will be presented with a toy.

The event has grown every year and Peary expects about 200 people will be served this year.

“It’s sad to see families come in,” noted Peary, “but it’s also very rewarding when you can give back to the community and be of service.”

Fundraising for the event is mostly done in the schools and their communities. Local grocery stores donate the food and Mission businesses donate the presents.

There will be two sitting available at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Heritage Park School is located at 33700 Prentis Ave.