The 15th annual Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet will be presented to the community on Monday, Nov. 24, by the Neosho R-5 School District. The board of education approved the annual event, initiated in 2000, at this week’s monthly meeting.

 “Every year we do the senior citizens day, each year we provide them with a banquet,” stated Dan Decker, superintendent. “We’ll have entertainment, different groups in the school; usually we have an elementary group, and we’ll have the Choraleers or Sugar & Spice, or one of the bands will play; just give them a real nice meal.”

Decker said the community’s seniors will be provided a full Thanksgiving with all the trimmings, and a chance to see the fine students and staff that make up the school district.

He said the senior guests will also have the chance to win some nice door prizes. In previous years, Decker said Jarden Consumer Solutions had supplied not only door prizes, but also a gift for every attendee. He said the organization of all that merchandise required several staff members working a full week to do so, so the district asked Jarden to take over the management of that venture. Decker said Jarden will provide an extra amount of door prize gifts, but will scale back on the gifts for everyone.

“I think it shapes up to be a great event for our senior citizens, and it gives us as a district an opportunity to show our appreciation for what they do for our community and our schools,” he said.

Previously held on the Friday before the week of Thanksgiving, Decker said the event was moved to the Monday of Thanksgiving week in order to have all the student organizations available to serve and perform, and to have all staff on hand, as Fridays have become shortened days district-wide this year.

He said the district will continue to provide the traditional busing from various locations in the school district to shuttle seniors to and from Neosho Middle School for the 11:30 a.m. banquet. Those bus stop locations will be announced later.

Decker said future Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquets may be moved to the high school.
“A lot of our entertainment comes from the high school, a lot of our students who serve come from the high school, so it just makes more sense to have it there,” he said. “That cafeteria, it’s a bigger venue, so we don’t have people in the gym and then spill over into the cafeteria.

“After we get the FEMA shelter up and our parking situation back to semi-normal, I could foresee us moving it to the high school in the future.”