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Waubun-Ogema to host holiday feast

The holidays are a time to come together, give thanks for what we have and to share together in relationships over a meal.

That's why the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Schools is hosting a Holiday Feast for families within the district and community members who wish to participate, regardless if they have children or not. The feast is Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Waubun High School.

"We wanted to do something for our community and have it housed here at the school," said Jill Baker, counselor at school. "Originally, the thought was to have a Thanksgiving dinner, but we wanted it to encompass both, so we changed it to mid-December and made it a holiday feast instead."

Principal Eric Martinez said it came out of a meeting between the three of them -- himself, Baker and Student Service Secretary Dejah Buschette -- where they were talking about how nice it is to have a meal together and celebrate and how nice it would be to do that for the community.

The toy drive portion of the event had already been put into place, so by adding the feast, they were able to turn it into one big event.

"It just spiraled out of there with a whole bunch of ideas, and a bunch of them are coming to fruition. It's been working out very well," he said.

"We really want to show the community we are open to the community. We want to celebrate with everybody," Martinez added. "We want to help those in need, obviously, but we want to make sure everybody comes out. It doesn't just have to be parents with little kids who want their kids to have gifts. We want everybody to come out; we want the whole community to enjoy it."

The school district staff and volunteers will be preparing and serving the dinner.

The grand feast will include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, buns and dessert. Staff from both of the schools will be helping out. They are planning on serving about 400 people.

Staff members and band and choir members will be providing entertainment for the evening.

They continue to have more and more ideas for the celebration, so they can implement them in the years to come because this will be a yearly gathering.

Holiday toy drive

It wouldn't be a Christmas celebration without Santa making an appearance.

Santa Claus will be at the Holiday Feast to hand out gifts and stocking to kids, and to pose for pictures. Pictures will be printed and kids can take home their pictures with Santa.

Santa is looking for some elves to help donate toys for the children he will visit Dec. 19 though. Donations of small toys for children ages 4-12 and candy for stocking stuffers can be dropped off at the Ogema or Waubun schools.

"Obviously the toy drive is very important for our little guys. That's how it started, how do we incorporate everybody, early children through 12, and make sure they're going to be able to celebrate," Martinez said.

Buschette said stocking stuffers and candy are encouraged, but if there are larger gifts donated, Baker said they will likely be raffled off to be fair.

With the word out about the event for less than a week, the organizers said they have already gotten a great response from people wanting to help either monetarily or volunteering their time.

Donations for the Dec. 19 event can be sent to Eric Martinez, c/o Holiday east, PO Box 98, Waubun, MN 56589. Make checks payable to Waubun High School.

Donations can also be made over the phone to Dejah Buschette at 218-473-6144.

Toy and candy donations can be dropped off at the Waubun or Ogema schools until Dec. 19.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.