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Fourth-grader Emma Yarris dons a Native American costume, handmade by her mother, Kate, for the lunch, which was served by the school lunch staff, parent volunteers and Goffstown firefighters and police. (SUSAN CLARK/Union Leader Correspondent)

Goffstown students give thanks

GOFFSTOWN -- Emma Yarris, a fourth-grader at Maple Avenue Elementary School, said Thanksgiving is all about family and being together.

Emma said she is thankful for, "Good schools and good teachers, and animals in the world will be safe."

She and the students at Maple Avenue Elementary School were treated to a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.

The meal — turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, rolls, fresh fruit and apple crisp — took the school's chefs three days to prepare for the more than 500 students and staff.

The feast was served by school staff, volunteers and some members of the Goffstown fire and police departments, including officers Jim Mitchell and Scott Avedisian; firefighters Kerry Tower and John Reilly and fire Lt. Eric Battey.

Many children dressed in their Sunday best, and others donned handmade pilgrim hats. Emma dressed in an American Indian costume, which her mother, Kate, made for Halloween one year.

Jessica Milligan, assistant principal, said, "Volunteers come and help out. The children make placemats and have an opportunity to decorate their tables. It's a nice tradition for the school," Milligan said.

Assistant chef Karie Hagerty created a centerpiece for the event — two turkeys made with cantaloupe bodies, summer squash heads, and eggplant and carrot feathers.

Many of the children said they were thankful for their families, including Mariella Fales.

"I'm thankful for my family because they take care of me," she said, adding Thanksgiving is a time to be happy.

Third-grader Dylan Medeiros is thankful for something very dear to him.

"My life. If I didn't have it, I wouldn't be alive.


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