A Touch of Class - Wells High School 2012
Rev. Joe Beran, pastor of Falvey Memorial UMC, had a great idea-- providing a “fine dining” experience for the senior class at the Wells ISD High School. He called it “A Touch of Class - the Class of 2012.” His theory was that not many of the students from Wells would seek out the opportunity to do such a thing unless they experienced it first in a safe, loving environment.
Rev. Beran started by gaining the support of the School Superintendent, Dale Morton, who encouraged him to talk to the former Home Economics teacher, Kim Hopson-Herman. She was enthusiastic. “I enjoyed the opportunity to fine-tune the students’ table manners and courtesy skills. They students gained a new level of confidence in knowing how to approach a formal situation, ” said Hopson-Herman.
Falvey UMC had only two members who are in the senior class, but Rev. Beran challenged them to exercise some leadership and to encourage their classmates to attend. They did, but as senior Justin Dixon stated, “Pastor Joe, I really tried to get people to come, but they were already so excited about it that I couldn’t do any more.” Those words were music to the pastor’s ears!
“We sent a beautiful invitation to each student, which required an RSVP and a choice of entrée—Boeuf Bourguinon or Chicken Marsala—and desert—Miss Tammie’s Italian Cream Cake or Miss Jerri’s cheesecake—and invited each senior to bring a guest,” said Debra Campbell, chair of the event. The school board, administration, and senior advisors were also invited. Some parents came as well, representing Project Celebration, a post-prom event. “We seated 58 people!” exclaimed Alyson Dixon, co-chair.
Terry Burroughs, the chef for the evening, said that he felt that it was essential that students be exposed to something different. “In this part of Texas, these kids can eat world-class barbeque and fried catfish any time they want it. Good as that is, it is important that we help broaden their horizons.”
“I think that real china and white tablecloths made the evening all the more special,” said Bobbye Burroughs, who arranged to rent some of the items. Joe Hodges, a member of the church, performed the maitre d’ service of greeting each guest, and seating the women. Other members of the church served each student and the guests with great care.
Community support came in the form of donations from Miss DeLeon’s cheesecakes and rolls, and ice from the local Polk store.
Students enjoyed having their pictures taken. “The photographs recorded fond memories of a happy evening, and proud parents with beaming students,” said Tillie Young, who created a lovely, plant-filled venue for that aspect.
“Our emphasis was to encourage and thank the students for a successful school year and to remind them to keep Wells in their hearts,” said church member and server, C.W. Williams, who also happens to be mayor of the city.
The event was in line with the mission statement of the church: to advance the kingdom of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, first to the community, then to the world. Church and school worked together for the benefit of the students. “We hope to make this an annual event,” said Carolyn Goodwin, as she served dessert to the table under her charge.
“We were blessed to witness a night of magic! The kids came and the church did a fabulous job of decorating, cooking and serving, and everyone got to see what it feels like to do something special for special people,” said Rev. Beran. “Now we can begin to get ready for the Teachers’ Appreciation breakfast right before school starts.”