MOSES LAKE — It was a Thanksgiving meal, complete with all the fixings — turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams.
And pumpkin pie. Don’t forget the pumpkin pie.
The diners, all grade school kids from the McGraw Family Clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Club of the Columbia Basin, are filling up the cafeteria at Park Orchard Elementary, some with paper plates a little too full for small hands to hold well.
As one first-grader discovered when he spilled a little gravy on his shirt and pants.
“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!” he said as wiped the gravy off with a napkin.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Kim Pope, the newly appointed director of the Boys and Girls Club. “People on our board and people in the community want to provide a meal to kids who may not get one.”
Pope said there was quite a coordinated effort to get this meal — and three others at North Elementary School, Larson Heights Elementary, and Midway Elementary — made. Donated funds bought the turkeys, which were cooked at the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center. Takata donated the hams, and Michael’s on the Lake cooked those.
“Somebody baked 30 pies,” Pope said. “It’s truly a community effort. People who know we are doing this want to help.”
It took about a month of planning, and an intense week of preparation, to make the meal happen.
“I really like doing this. I enjoy planning events. I relish it. I love it,” Pope said. “But I don’t get to take credit for it. Everyone else is working so hard.”
LeeAnn Driesen, who works for the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, said she was happy to come out and dish out baby carrots to grade school kids.
“They sent out an email to the sheriff’s office looking for volunteers, and I thought this would be a good thing to do,” she said.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at email@example.com.