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Watch Now: Logan Middle Schoolers make pies for community Thanksgiving dinner

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Like they have for more than 25 years now, students with the School District of La Crosse worked to make a series of pumpkin pies to donate to a community Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s part of an annual “pie lab” in middle school classrooms, a segment that ends with community service and helps supply a classic treat for those struggling during the holiday season.

The pies will be donated to the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which again will be hosted at the La Crosse Center Thursday with the options for dine-in, carry-out and delivery this year.

Logan Middle Schoolers make pies for community Thanksgiving dinner

Kaleana Kerrigan, left, and Sharissa Tillman, right, both eighth graders at Logan Middle School pour pumpkin pie mix into their crust on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The students were part of a district-wide effort to provide pies to a community Thanksgiving dinner.

The group that hosts the dinner describes it as an “inclusive event where everyone is invited to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at no cost and share the day with others.”

“It makes me feel really happy because you’re feeding people who don’t have enough money for it,” said Kaleana Kerrigan, a Logan Middle School eighth grader who was helping to bake some of the pies on Tuesday.

“It’s a special treat that can make them feel at home,” said fellow Logan eighth grader Sharissa Tillman.

Both were students of family and consumer science education teacher Katelyn Hoffman, who walked students through the steps of making the pumpkin pie, from mixing the filling and crimping the edges of the crust — and emphasizing COVID safety while baking.

Logan Middle Schoolers make pies for community Thanksgiving dinner

Katelyn Hoffman, a family and consumer science education teacher at Logan Middle School, checks on one of 12 pumpkin pies her class made on Tuesday Nov. 23.

The groups of students were encouraged to “divide and conquer” as well, by splitting up the tasks of the filling and the crust.

Kerrigan and Tillman were partnered up to bake their pie, and while Kerrigan said she had made several pumpkin pies before (though apple was her favorite) Tillman had not, and their teamwork was put to the test.

“It was really nice because we actually got along,” Tillman said.

After filling their crusts, students placed their pies in the oven for 15 minutes, then another 40 at a lower temperature before they were golden brown.

Hoffman’s class itself made a total of 12 pies on Tuesday, but students across the district are expected to make between 75-100 this year.

Logan Middle Schoolers make pies for community Thanksgiving dinner

A group of eighth grade Logan Middle School students divide and conquer while making a pie for a community Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Logan Middle Schoolers make pies for community Thanksgiving dinner

A staff member at Logan Middle School helps a group of students transfer pumpkin pies out of the oven on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The School District of La Crosse is expected to donate between 75-100 pies to a free, community Thanksgiving dinner.

The doors for the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner will open at 10 a.m. with a nondenominational worship service at 10:30 a.m. The official serving of the dinner will run between 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Transportation is available for those who need it, and donations and volunteers are welcome.

For more information, visit laxthanksgivingdinner.com.

"It makes me feel really happy because you're feeding people who don't have enough money for it."

Kaleana Kerrigan, Logan Middle School eighth grader 

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