Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
SENIOR KYLE Hill serves gravy to Shirley Thomas during the fourth annual Thanksgiving meal for senior citizens at the Mercer School Monday. Students prepared the meal for seniors, free of charge, as part of their life skills class.
MERCER, Wis. - The holiday season came a bit early for some senior citizens in Mercer Monday.
Students in Dee Rice's life skills class served an early Thanksgiving meal to seniors for the fourth consecutive year.
The meal included turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, vegetables, rolls and desserts, all prepared by the students.
According to district administrator Erik Torkelson, the event is an example of leadership in the community.
"Our kids are fantastic leaders, and when given the challenge to represent this school, they always do it with dignity and pride," Torkelson said. "As proud as I am of this school, nobody's more proud of this school than the kids."
Rice started the meal by thanking everyone for coming, and attendees applauded the "chefs" for preparing the meals.
Seniors were able to eat for free, because of many hours spent driving, according to Torkelson said.
"For the past two months, Ms. Rice and her students have been driving all over the Northwoods, visiting every grocer and vendor to help with this meal," Torkelson said. "And after today, they will revisit each of them to thank them for their donations. Many hours have been spent on this."
The dinner has been so popular over the past four years that it had to be moved from the classroom to the cafeteria because of a lack of space.
"That is a testimony to continued growth and support that we receive from the community," Torkelson said. "It's really nice to see."
For more information call the Mercer School District at 715-476-2154.