The Independent Staff
Dawn Hyatt says Brooke Day has always been her favourite day of the year.
Hyatt grew up in Brooke-Alvinston and went to school at Brooke Central School and remembers the anticipation of a day of skating and a turkey dinner just before the Christmas holiday.
Hyatt is a teacher at Brooke Central now and her feelings haven’t changed. “This day is always seen as special,” she says as she looked out over the the tables of children patiently waiting for the meal to begin at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.
It has taken a lot of work to get to this point. Chris Wygergangs is one of the spouses of the Alvinston Optimist who spearheads the event.
“The Optimists wives started this 28 years ago,” she says. They prepare the 110 pounds of turkey, 100 pounds of potatoes and 33 pounds of stuffing – not to mention the vegetables, apple sauce and pickle trays.
This year Wygergangs says it required more than just organizing the food – a snow day scuttled plans on Thursday. The Optimist scrambled to make sure the hall and the buses were still available. Thankfully, she says, it all worked out. She says if it had not, they would have hosted the event in January however a lot of the food would be lost.
Before lunch, the children head out on to the ice for skating. The Optimist gathers skates from the community and recently bought 50 helmets to make sure everyone could be on the ice.
For Hyatt, the event brings back fond memories and creates new ones.
“All of the staff looks forward to it. It’s still my favourite day of the year.”