By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Each year, Regina Catholic Education Center treats senior citizens in the Iowa City area to a free Thanksgiving meal at the school.
About 65 seniors filled the high school gym Nov. 15 to enjoy a Hy-Vee-catered turkey dinner, play Bingo and listen to music performed by the Regina High School orchestra. National Honor Society (NHS) members served as hosts and waiters and students from the nutrition and food prep classes provided homemade desserts and pies. “Everything was so perfect,” a guest commented on the school’s Facebook page after the event.
Organizers said the Thanksgiving tradition began in 1970 as the brainchild of cafeteria worker Genevieve Wombacher. The lunch was prepared in the cafeteria and served to both the students and the 75-100 senior citizens who attended that year. The senior citizens went through the lunch line with the students and they all sat together. The Key Club took over for a while but when that organization disbanded in 2015, the NHS assumed hosting duties. Free-will donations help offset catering costs.
NHS member Avery Kies said she enjoyed serving meals at the dinner. “All the guests were so kind. It was so nice to see the grandparents of some of my friends enjoying themselves.”
NHS Secretary Joe Polyak said it’s “really special” to witness the collaborative effort. “The whole Regina community works so hard to help us put together and accomplish (charitable) events like this dinner.”