Midvale, Ohio - Midvale Elementary staff members and volunteers are showing their appreciation for their school community with a special meal during the week of Thanksgiving.

Principal Ryan Wells says a group of about 40 helpers will serve a complimentary turkey dinner to about 300 students and family members this Monday during the school’s 6th-annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. 

“Midvale students and families are all invited. That could be if you have a kindergartener, their mom and dad could come, their grandparents could come, and brothers and sisters obviously, too, are welcome,” he says.

Wells says the event begins at 6 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria and also includes a raffle drawing for an assortment of prizes donated by area businesses and supporters. 

“We get donations from, there’s a ton - McInturfy Realty helps us out, Texas Roadhouse, Hog heaven, Litty’s Cakes, Stutzman's, local shops give us things, the Skate Place, the Quaker. We just get tons of donations. I draw numbers, and that person wins a prize for that day and they get to take it home,” he says.

Wells says the annual event is an opportunity for the community to come together and give thanks for their blessings and share in the joy of the holiday season. 

“For Indian Valley, we have a lot to be thankful for with the community supporting the bond issue that just was passed,” he says. “Even in tough times, it seems like the community’s come together for what’s best for the kids and students.” 

Wells says after the students and families are finished dining, Wells says the volunteers will be served the same meal and then any leftovers will be packaged up and delivered to needy individuals in the community. 

“The next day, for community members who couldn’t make the event, I have a list of my own and I take leftover meals and deliver them to them,” he explains.

Wells says the school’s community Thanksgiving meal started in 2013 as an extension of the work being done by Brave1, the nonprofit that he runs with his wife, Katy. 

“We go to families in my community, students that go to school, and we take them a pizza and read books with them every Wednesday for about 6 to 8 weeks during the summer,” he says. “We wanted to go the next step and serve the community even more.” 

Wells says the event would not be possible without the generosity of area businesses and individuals donors and the hard work of volunteers.


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