Holiday Dinner: To Service and To Soup

By COURTNEY ZENG, freshman

Students stepped into a cafeteria filled with the aroma of pasta, the sound of seasonal classics, and the sight of cute beanie dogs and colorful Lego blocks. The ambiance was for the holiday dinner, held on December 13. SEA (Students for Environmental Awareness) and French Alliance joined forces with Key Club in creating the dinner to raise money for a variety of causes. Together, Key Club, SEA, and French Alliance dedicated the dinner to a beloved pet pig. Originally, Edison High School had purchased the pig for a Kiss the Pig fundraising contest. However, they did not have enough funding to pay for its veterinary bills, and JP decided to help them take care of the pig. As SEA’s senior vice president Olga Dovhanyuk remarked, “Abandoning a pig is just not right. We had to do something after being asked to care for it.” All of the clubs that hosted the dinner also raised funds for both the Children’s Specialized Hospital and Hands of Hope Soup Kitchen.
At 6 p.m., guests entered the cafeteria, gaping in awe at the table covered in piles of dinosaur coloring books, stuffed teddy bears, and other toys—gifts for patients at the Children’s Specialized Hospital. Christmas lights were draped all along the windows of the cafeteria and silver metallic felt stars dotted the wall, creating a cozy atmosphere.
Senior Andrew Gochuico, president of the Orchestra Council, said, “It’s really festive. It makes me feel very homey. It’s a great start to the holiday season.” Food served by volunteers at the event was donated by local restaurants—including Wonder Seafood and Tastee Subs—and ranged from pizza to paneer. The volume of conversation gradually decreased as the orchestra quartet wrapped up its performance and the chamber choir, joined by Mr. Smith as Santa Claus, sang festive songs like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Noel.” Senior choir co-president Grace Zhao, said, “We wanted to spread some holiday cheer.”
The Holiday Dinner raised a significant amount of money for good causes. SEA raised $579 for the food and veterinarian costs of the pig, and Key Club raised $800 worth of presents for Children’s Specialized Hospital and Hands of Hope Soup Kitchen. Freshman Aniya Ahmmed said of the event, “I was impressed by the clubs’ organization of food and intricate decorations. This is my first time coming, but I’m definitely coming back next year.”

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