---- — Serving retired residents a free turkey dinner before Thanksgiving has been an annual tradition at Cooperstown Central School for more than 20 years.
The dinner will not be happening this year, however. According to a source at the school, there are plans in the works to host some sort of dinner later in the year.
The eighth-grade class was responsible for hosting the senior citizen gathering in years past as a community service project, but those responsibilities were passed to three high school service organizations last year.
When the students hosted the dinner they not only prepared the food, but they also worked on letters to invite retired faculty and staff and made programs, decorations and placemats. The students were required to write a reflection paper about providing community service that was included in their portfolio project and presented at the end of the school year.
According to Brad Smith, eighth-grade teacher and past dinner organizer, said the goal was to instill the importance of community service, encourage good morals and have students carry on the good deeds throughout their lives.
In the past, Smith had said the dinner gave community members a chance to see students in a different light. He said the senior citizens get to see students opening doors for them, serving the food and enables them to talk with the eighth-graders and make connections.
The dinner was free and open to all retired residents of the CCS district as well as retired faculty and staff. In the past, takeout meals and deliveries were available for those who could not attend.