The event was part of the annual Christian Action Project at the local high school, and featured a month-long project to fundraise, organize and prepare a holiday feast for more than 300 patrons.
“So we combined three of our classes to tackle this job because putting it all together and getting sponsors from Moose Jaw and raising awareness for a community event would be a really neat thing to do,” explained Brooke Buchko, one of the student organizers.
“We say a couple times in our speech that it’s really all about the Christmas spirit and getting people into the mood and I think this is a really good way to kick off the season,” added fellow Grade 12 Paige Beausoliel. “You get a chance to meet new people and have great conversations, it’s just a great event to put on.”
Students went into the community to fundraise and find donations for the event and found all sorts of support.
“We were able to get a lot of sponsors for the event, which is really awesome,” Beausoliel said. “We had a lot of fun organizing it and we’re really grateful to everyone who donated to it.”
While teachers were on hand to supervise, the students themselves pretty much ran the show: many showed up early on the morning of the dinner to begin preparation and set-up, including cooking multiple turkeys, preparing stuffing and all the usual Christmas dinner fare.
“We’ve been here since about 9:30 a.m. preparing all the food and stuff and we have lots of it donated,” Beausoliel said. “Then students from our classes brought in lots of items as well, so that kept the costs down, then everyone pitched in the kitchen and helped out doing everything.”
Doing almost all the work themselves made the event that much more appealing.
“It’s really cool since a lot of us haven’t had the opportunity to put on an event like this,” Buchko said. “This is the first one Vanier has ever done, so it’s the kick-off to something we hope will be a yearly thing so other generations can enjoy it as much as we did. It was a really good opportunity to take leadership and deal with all the different parts of the event, so everyone is happy to be a part of it.”