Giving thanks

Soroco students provide South Routt seniors with a turkey dinner

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When Bill Voorhees received a call from Soroco High School student Martin Germain inviting him to a special Thanksgiving Day meal for South Routt seniors, he was thrilled.

"That personal call really touched him," his wife, Cathie Voorhees, said. "He immediately went to the calendar and marked it down."

About 26 South Routt seniors attended Thursday's senior citizen luncheon at Soroco High School. The early Thanksgiving Day meal included roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and, of course, pumpkin pie.

Chelsea Bonfiglio, who helped organize the event, said she was impressed with the number of senior citizens that attended the luncheon because Soroco's student council worked tirelessly to invite as many of them as possible.

"Our whole goal is to bridge the gap between us and our elders," she said. "In a small community like this, our seniors raise us. They're so supportive of us that we try to be supportive of them. This is us reaching out to them to say, 'Thank you,'" she said.

While the seniors eagerly awaited their meals, 14 members of Soroco's student government busied themselves filling coffee cups and glasses of lemonade and making conversation.

"This has left a good, lasting impression on all of us," Germain said. Germain said he spent hours on his cell phone calling residents of Toponas, Oak Creek, Yampa and Phippsburg inviting them to the luncheon.

Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin said he was proud that the students' hard work paid off Thursday.

"The nice thing is that the students have coordinated the whole thing. They're serving the meals, they're making sure everyone is being taken care of," he said. "It's a great outreach."

Chamberlin said the early Thanksgiving Day celebration is a tradition for the school that everyone looks forward to.

"I know our senior citizens look forward to it every year," he said.

The Voorhees, who live in Yampa, said they felt very special that the students would put together a meal for them.

"It's really nice," Cathie Voorhees said. "I think the personal phone calls really made a difference this year."

Tyler Kelly, a Soroco senior and organizer, said he enjoyed meeting and talking to members of the South Routt community.

"It's a good feeling to sit down and meet new people who you normally wouldn't meet during your daily routine," he said.

"I know it's a good time for them. They get excited about it. How could you not? It's good food, good people, good setting."

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