OHS community outreach Thanksgiving dinner expected to feed hundreds

BREMERTON — For its 28th year, the annual community outreach dinner hosted through Olympic High School is in the hands of a new leadership group.

OHS’s Future Business Leaders of American and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America clubs have taken over the outreach dinner, which it hopes will feed hundreds of homeless and needy people in Kitsap. The dinner is set for Nov. 22, held in conjunction with the Bremerton Rotary Club and the Boys &Girls Club of Bremerton.

“It’s a whole community event that comes together to make this happen,” Twyla Falteisek, FBLA advisor, said. “I’m really excited to see how it goes together.”

Thanksgiving-style meals offered from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, at the Bremerton Teen Center, 3102 Wheaton Way, will consist of hot food prepared from scratch by OHS students. But aside from the traditional Thanksgiving meal, attendees will also be offered nonperishable food and winter clothing to take with them.

“The honor society does a clothing drive every year,” Falteisek said. “They look for coats and gloves and warm-weather items people need.

“The sign language club (collects) hygiene and baby items,” she added.

And, this year, FBLA and FCCLA will be collecting nonperishable food donations, as well as working with Bremerton Rotary member Cris Larsen, a chef, to prepare the meal.

But you don’t need to be a student or family member to help out. Anyone can donate gently used clothing, nonperishable food, toys, blankets and other things babies might need and more. Monetary donations are accepted as well. Donations can be taken to the Olympic High School Business Lab, 7070 Stampede Blvd. NW, Bremerton.

Falteisek said that this effort doesn’t just help the homeless and needy population of Kitsap County, but it’s an important lesson for the participating students, as well.

“It’s important for kids to be able to decide and think about how they’re going to do the problem solving, make the mistakes,” she said.

“It’s all about leadership for our future generations. It’s about them taking ownership.

“It’s going to give (the students) a sense of community (by) doing something bigger than themselves,” Falteisek said.

In the first 27 years, the outreach dinner was hosted by the Distributive Education Club of America. The DECA advisor, however, also leads the school basketball program, Falteisek said, and didn’t feel she could “give it 110 percent,” and subsequently offered the dinner to other school advisors. Falteisek said she and FCCLA advisor Laura Lutz “work well together, so we decided to take it on.”

For more information about the community outreach dinner and how to help, contact FBLA Advisor Twyla Falteisek at twylaf@ckshools.org. Check donations can be mailed to Olympic High School FBLA/FCCLA Community Outreach Dinner, P.O. Box 8, Silverdale, WA 98383.

Michelle Beahm is a reporter for the Central Kitsap Reporter and Bremerton Patriot. She can be reached at mbe ahm@soundpublishing.com.