BAKER — Baker School students treated local senior citizens to Christmas music performed by the middle school band and a Christmas meal prepared by the school's culinary program Tuesday at the school.
Principal Thomas Shipp said he was pleased with the event's turnout. Denise Gronberg, who organized the event with the help of students, said 75 people attended.
"This is probably the biggest turnout we have had in a number of years," Shipp said.
"We came here for the food," Sam Brunson said. Brunson and his wife of 50 years, Betty, 67, regularly attend the annual event.
Many residents know Brunson as the voice of Baker varsity sports. In which, he continues to call plays from the press box at Doug Griffith Stadium, during football season and several other Baker sporting events.
"In the 38 years, I have been doing it, I have probably only missed five games." Brunson, 69, said. Brunson said that he and his wife have been attending the event since the 1980's.
"We come here to see people we haven't seen in awhile," Brunson said. Many of them are longtime friends and classmates of Brunson when he attended the school.
"We don't get to see these people that often," Betty Brunson added.
Sam Brunson was also impressed with middle school bands performance.
"That was the best middle school band performance, I have ever heard," Sam Brunson said. "They did a really great job."
Before the senior citizens were treated to the banquet (which was sponsored by the school Student Government Association and Leadership Program) the guests were able to listen to a Christmas concert performed by the middle school band.
Band Director Tony Chiarito led the band in Christmas music, which included like "Jingle Bones,"(a rendition on the classic, "Jingle Bells") and "Once upon a December," which was featured in the 1997 Disney film "Anastasia."
The final piece of music performed by the middle school students featured portions of 20 Christmas classics in just two minutes, which included "O little town of Bethlehem" and "Away in A manger."
After the concert, guests were escorted to the school cafeteria to enjoy a Christmas lunch, which included turkey, dressing and other side items. Desert was also provided
"It is our way to pay them back for all of the support they have given us," Lindsay Gatewood said. Gatewood, who is a senior representative with the SGA, was volunteering at the banquet.
"This is actually one of biggest crowds we've had," Gatewood said. She added that everything was running smoothly after the guests were seated.
Gatewood said this event is used to show appreciation to the senior citizens at the event.
"Most of these people are involved in the school, because their grandchildren attend here," Gatewood said. She added that many of these seniors attend school functions including school sporting events.
Shipp agreed with Gatewood.
"A lot of them attended this school and help establish a lot of traditions this school and they are still involved with it, through their kids and grandkids," Shipp said. "We have some that help and volunteer here (at the school)."
Not only were guests leaving with banquet placemats that were made by kindergarten students and corsages made by elementary students, they also had a chance to leave with a door prize. These prizes included gift certificates and other items donated to the event from local businesses in Baker and Crestview.