SOUTH HAVEN | From the turkey to the cranberries to the pumpkin pie, South Haven Elementary School students and their special guests enjoyed a special Thanksgiving meal Friday.
Some 200 guests, mostly parents and grandparents, joined the school's almost 400 students for the tradition.
"It is important to outreach to the neighborhood, said Principal Dave Lesich about inviting family to the school's annual lunch. "We are one family."
The school has carried on the tradition for more than a dozen years, added Home School Adviser Connie Melton.
Grandparent Jim Mendez got his fill. He got to eat lunch with two of his grandchildren, first-grader Izaiah and second-grader Jessa.
He ate first with Izaiah and then sat with Jessa during her meal.
"It's enjoyable, believe me. It was a great meal. If I could, I would get up and get another one," he said, adding he enjoyed watching the youngsters and their families interact.
Johnathan Erdei, 6, invited his grandmother, Delores Erdei to dine with him.
"It's very nice. The meal is very good and I can't believe he cleaned his plate," said Delores Erdei.
They sat next to first-grader Mason Reber's family for lunch. The two families, both of South Haven, have been friends since Johnathan's and Mason's parents were children.
"This is great. When my kids were growing up, they only had Grandparents Day," said Kathy Reber, who was joined by her husband, Bob, Mason's father, Ryan, and Mason's cousin Fallyn, who was visiting from Michigan.
Eve Orris said the meal was all her first-grade daughter Joanna talked about all week.
"She asked me every day if I was coming," said Orris, who was joined by her preschool daughter, Regan. "I think it is great for the kids to get the parents involved."