Photo submitted – Back row: Courtney Crozier, Ray Lenarcic, Melissa Baker, Kyle O’Brien. Front row: Student Council Elected Officials – Dylan Gray, Jenni Schmidtmann, Katelyn Elwood, Calvin Eakin.

The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition’s call for area schools to participate in its annual Thanks-For-Giving Food Drive was answered by only one-Oppenheim Ephratah-St. Johnsville Elementary School.

The project intended to have the school honor area veterans by collecting certain foods (e.g., pasta; canned soups), half of which would go to the local pantry and half to Feed Our Vets in New York Mills.

Special Ed teacher Courtney Crozier aided by fellow Spec. Ed. teacher Ms. Baker and the Student Council coordinated a drive that produced a ton of food.

The winning class, Mrs. Hazzard’s kindergartners, received a pizza party and copies of The First Thanksgiving children’s story. The school received the HCHC’s Gold Star Award for its efforts.

The Coalition also donated $500 to the Angel Fund Program, which guarantees a Christmas for needy children in the school district.

Coalition Drive coordinator RJ Lenarcic said, “We can’t thank Courtney, the students, faculty-staff, and Mr. O’Brien (principal) for collecting a substantial amount of food for Feed Our Vets and Mrs. Lape and the St. Johnsville pantry. Not only did they honor our area veterans, but they personified the true meaning of Thanksgiving.”