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A celebration of community

Lakeridge Junior High barbecue is a hit with kids


Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Fifth-grader Levi Brown and his dad, Jerry, dish up dinner at the Lakeridge Junior High BBQ on Friday.Gazing at the bounty before him during the Lakeridge Junior High barbecue last week, seventh-grader Devrim Evans was overwhelmed.

“There’s a whole army of brownies!” he cried out.

And there was. Stacks of the chocolate squares were piled on plates at the end of a chain of cloth-covered tables, which also held juicy burgers, hotdogs and the fixins’ — red onion, sliced tomatoes, cheese, shredded lettuce and condiments galore.

“I made a triple-decker, Vegas-style burger that has everything inside of it,” said Rudy Peralta, an eighth-grader.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Jake Barrett, sixth grade, enjoys a burger during Fridays dinner at the Lakeridge Junior High BBQ.

Seventh-grader Aislinn Marek gazed at the table, carefully selecting the right toppings for her hotdog. So far, she’d had a wonderful time performing cheer routines for hundreds of spectators.

“I really liked performing, and the food is really good,” she said.

There were a lot of other things going on at the barbecue last Friday, but one of the most important ones to Brittnee Gillson was how community members came out to show how invested they are.

“There seems to be a lot of involvement,” said Gillson, Lakeridge Junior High and youth cheer coach.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Hilary Olsen, co-president of the parents association, paints Grace Ingels face for the big game.

The community demonstrated its spirit with the efforts of students, school employees and parent volunteers such as Kristen Ryals. Ryals bustled about, checking in students and keeping things humming.

“We had more kids show up than we even anticipated,” she said, surrounded by a throng of children, some of whom had just gotten their faces painted.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Tessa Divergilio proudly holds a jar of gumballs she won for guessing closest how many gumballs were in the jar.

New student Emily Goranson was one of the many kids relishing the barbecue. She embraced Rudy and Cian Whalen, friends she’d recently met at the junior high who had made her feel welcome.

“I don’t know what I’d do without these two,” Emily said. “I love them.”Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - From left, eighth graders Emily Goranson, Cian Whalen and Rudy Peralta

Over in the cafeteria, Principal Kurt Schultz sat down to a meal with his two sons and his wife, Jenn. Schultz said he liked the band, the cheerleaders and, well, all of the entertainment at the event.

“It’s been a celebration of coming back to school and a celebration of our community,” he said.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Principal Kurt Schultz and his wife, Jenn, stand with their two sons, 1-year-old Elliot and 4-year-old Ben.

Jenn Schultz said their boys — 1-year-old Elliot and 4-year-old Ben — have a great time at community events.

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Grace Ingels gets a Lakeridge Junior High tattoo. “The boys love coming to this sort of thing,” she said.“They love coming to football games. They will eventually be Pacers, so it’s good for them to do this kind of stuff.”

After the barbecue, the boys had another opportunity to join in with their Pacer community. There was a shuttle service from Lakeridge Junior High for those who wished to attend the Lakeridge High School football game that night.

Besides spending time with all her friends, the chance to hop a ride to the game was what Emily was looking forward to most — and the food, something that Albertson’s, Safeway and The Stafford had a little something to do with.


By Jillian Daley
Reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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