Organizers for the 14th annual Neosho R-5 Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet are gearing up for the event.

Organizers for the 14th annual Neosho R-5 Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet are gearing up for the event.

This year, it will be held on Friday, Nov. 22 at the Neosho Middle School gymnasium.

All Neosho R-5 School District patrons – ages 60 and up – are invited to the event, which begins at 11:30 a.m. and concludes around 1 p.m.

The school district will be providing a shuttle service to and from the banquet and attendees are strongly encouraged to take advantage of that service due to limited parking at the middle school. Attendees will have their choice of seven pickup locations. The shuttle buses will arrive at 10:30 a.m., depart at 11 a.m. and return shortly after 1 p.m.

Pickup locations are: First Baptist Church in Goodman, First Christian Church, 1314 Oak Ridge Drive, First Baptist Church, E. Highway 86, next to New Mac Electric, Calvary Baptist Church, Oak Ridge Extension, Northside Baptist Church, 705 N. High St., Neosho High School, behind the school, Walmart parking lot, northeast corner.

Attendees are asked to RSVP by Monday, Nov. 18 by calling 451-8688.

Crystal Heiskell, banquet coordinator, explains the main purpose of the event.

"It is to thank our senior citizens and help them keep a connection with the Neosho R-5 School District," she said.
The patrons will be treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, entertainment by the students, door prizes and fellowship.

The students, staff, business leaders and others get involved with this yearly event.
"Our students are involved from elementary and on," she said. "Our elementary students color the placemats that are at each seat. We rotate the elementary schools coming to perform (this year it is Goodman Elementary). Our seventh graders, they escort all of the senior citizens into the gym. Then at the end, we try to get as many of the middle school students out to wave at the people as they are leaving. Our junior high school students ride the buses to do name tags and to help out with the senior citizens there. Our high school they come and serve the meals. We have entertainers, and (they) help with table hosts. After it is over, is the cleanup, the students are a big help with that as well."

On the entertainment side, Heiskell said, "we will have Sugar and Spice, Choraleers, Goodman Elementary Choir, the jazz band will be playing and the orchestra will be playing."

Overall, the attendance has been great.

"We average around 850 (senior citizens) that are seated guests," she said. "We serve the workers (as well)."
That total then raises to about 1,050 people served during the event.

"We have a lot of them (senior citizens) just thanking us for continuing to have it," she said. "They really enjoy it. "(For the school district) it is a wonderful way to stay connected with the older generation and to keep them connected with our students. We are just glad to be able to do it. And enjoy showcasing our kids and enjoy the patrons coming in."

The patrons will also get goody bags, with some small items and also a small gift from the school district.

As the senior citizens leave the banquet, they will get an item from Jarden.