Laughter and smiles filled the AFC gym on Wednesday, November 18, as hundreds of Chatham faculty, staff, students, and community members sat around tables for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
The dinner is one of the many traditions that the Chatham community looks forward to around the holiday season.
The event kicked off with Hunter Milroy, President of the Class of 2016, and Sarah Jugovic, CSG Executive President, welcoming everyone to the festivities. Milroy also explained that there were a number of seniors walking around the gym selling 50/50 raffles tickets benefitting the senior class gift.
After the initial welcome, Jugovic invited President Esther Barazzone to the stage. Barazzone also welcomed attendees, as well as recognized members of the Board of Trustees and extended a special welcome to international students experiencing their first American Thanksgiving.
President Barazzone kept her speech brief — saying that she didn’t want to keep anyone from the fabulous Parkhurst food that was being held behind a large black curtain near the back of the gym.
There was a general sigh of relief when the food began to circulate — guests waited nearly an hour after the event began to actually begin filling their plates. Servers brought out large plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and sweet potatoes to each table. The dishes were served family-style.
After everyone seemed to be finished with the main meal, servers cleared the tables and brought out dozens of apple and pumpkin pies. The sweet treats brought a collective smile to the gym.
As a whole, many students felt the food to be a bit disappointing.
“I was slightly disappointed with the food, but the pie was great,” said Junior Corrin Walker.
Parkhurst did provide a vegetarian options for those students with dietary restrictions.
“I am vegetarian and lactose intolerant, so I was able to get the vegetarian plate as well as the meal everyone else was eating,” said sophomore Teri Bradford. “The vegetarian plate wasn’t warm which wasn’t great…I think that it’s awesome that they even tried.”
Bradford also saw the potential for other issues regarding dietary restrictions.
“When I was give the vegetarian plate, they didn’t tell me what it was or what was in it which could be bad if I had another allergy,” she said.
Regardless of the food, attendees were in high spirits because of the nature of the event itself.
“I loved the atmosphere and being with all of [my friends],” Walker said.
“I thought that Thanksgiving dinner at Chatham was great,” she said. “It’s more about the friends and family than it is about the food.”