With the generous support of several local businesses, the staff at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s Windfern High School hosted the first-ever Student/Staff Cookout luncheon August 31 and treated students to free hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas.
Though the day’s rainy weather forced the event to be held in-doors, the spirit behind the event could not be dampened as CFISD administrators, school staff and Board members Lida Woodul and Dr. William O’Brien joined students at lunch tables for lunch and light-hearted conversation.
Windfern Principal Martha Vardeman said that teachers came up with the idea during the summer break to host an event that would help build a better relationship between students and staff. Vardeman said the school turned to the business community to sponsor the luncheon.
"Although we’d love to do things like this more often, we just don’t have the resources," she said. "We’re thankful that our business partners were able to make this cook-out happen for the students."
Teacher Karen Warner drafted a proposal letter at the beginning of school and began visiting businesses to communicate the importance of the event. "With some of these kids being at-risk students, we wanted to start a bonding process, and this type of event is one of the ways we can demonstrate that we are here for them. Sometimes we’re the only family some of them have," she said.
Several businesses were so generous that the entire luncheon— including food, beverages and serving dishes— was put together with items donated to the school. Those businesses included: Coleman and Associates, Pepsi, John Eagle Honda, Total Restoration, Espensen Company, Albertson’s, H.E.B., Marek Family of Companies, Re/Max- Sangalang Group; Shutter Mill of Texas, Studio Work and Sweet Tomatoes.
The luncheon was such a success that Vardeman said the school would like to host the cookout once every semester to include those students who are part of an ever-changing population at the school.
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