ENID, Okla. — Local contracting company Luckinbill donated 61 complete Thanksgiving feasts to families of Coolidge Elementary School students on Friday.

Luckinbill employees showed up in the school parking lot early in the morning Friday in a work truck filled with turkeys, potatoes, canned vegetables, rolls, butter, whipped cream, pie and more.

All the fixings were organized into 61 meals, ensuring none of the Turkey Day staples would be missing from anyone's tables, and picked up by dozens of Coolidge families throughout the morning.

"It was a tearful moment for me watching those guys unloading all of that stuff," Coolidge principal Sherri Hendrie said. "It really brought tears to everyone's eyes because it was such a generous donation."

With nearly 500 students, Coolidge is one of the largest elementary schools in the district. It also has a free and reduced lunch rate hovering near 100%, Hendrie said.

"We're a high-poverty school, so we have a lot of people in need with things like this," she said. "Some have difficulty paying utilities and just staying afloat ... but this (donation) allows them to have that Thanksgiving tradition with their families."

This marks the third year in a row Luckinbill has provided Thanksgiving meals to Coolidge, Luckinbill sheet metal supervisor Tim Choate said.

As a Coolidge alum from the late-'50s and early'60s, it's a special feeling to help out the students and families coming through decades after him, he said.

Last year, he and fellow workers were able to gather enough in donations and chip in enough of their own money to give away somewhere around 20-25 meals, he said.

They got an earlier start this time around and were able to more than double that figure. It helps that Dennis Luckinbill himself bought all the turkeys, Choate said.

"I'm very grateful to my friends and family and Luckinbill employees who contributed, because I think together, we made it all a success," Choate said.

Each family that came by the school had plenty of thanks to give, Hendrie said, and she felt it too, for more than just the food or the money it took to buy it.

"It certainly was a donation, too, of time and generosity and goodness for our families," she said.

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Willetts is education and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Mitchell? Send an email to mwilletts@enidnews.com.

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