Fellowship, food drives, fellowship, airports and massive meals are traditional parts of the Thanksgiving weekend.
It all came together in a unique way Nov. 18 at TransPac Aviation Academy, an aviation school next to the Deer Valley Airport. The school, which hosts hundreds of international students and staff, held a Thanksgiving feast Nov. 18 with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serving as on-site caterers.
Its kitchen staff provided a traditional feast for 450 members of TransPac’s staff and students. Meal proceeds, an excess of $3,000, will support St. Vincent de Paul’s nonstop efforts to clothe, house and feed those less fortunate in the community. Some 4,000 homeless and low-income men, women, and children visit St. Vincent de Paul’s five dining rooms daily.
When not feasting, the aviation students used a couple of frozen turkeys to supply the key ingredient for Turkey Bowling. The makeshift lanes consisted of landscaping plastic, cinder blocks, and vegetable spray with 20 top scorers earning a trip to a traditional bowling alley.
TransPac Chief Executive Officer and CFO Nader Yassa initiated this charitable feast last year because poverty knows no holiday.
Food drives around the Diocese of Phoenix
“For many of our students, this was their first time participating in a traditional U.S. Thanksgiving celebration,” Yassa said. “We are pleased to be giving back to a charity that has made such a profound impact in our community. We thought since we were going to put on a Thanksgiving meal anyway, why not have that meal’s cost actually raise money for such a worthwhile charity?”
SVdP’s Executive Director Steve Zabilski whole-heartedly supported the concept. He said more money than ever is needed for the growing population of working poor and their families during these trying economic times.
“The holiday season is an especially challenging time for families in need. This partnership with TransPac is a fantastic way to share the joy of Thanksgiving, while raising funding to help feed hungry people in our community,” Zabilski said.