November 19, 2018

Church hosts banquets for Mio schools

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MIO — Once again the Mio United Methodist Church will be hosting banquets for all of the fall sports teams at Mio AuSable Schools throughout the month.

The church has been doing this for the last four years, not only for nearly every sports team at the school, but for the teachers as well. The banquets are free to the teams and their families. Superintendent Paul Ciske said the church does not ask for anything in return for the banquets.

“You’d think, what do they want out of it?” he said. “Truly they just want to help the community. The meals are always great and they’re always so friendly.”

Dawn Hall, who is in charge of the kitchen for the events, echoed what Ciske said.

“First of all, we’re opening our doors out to the community,” she said. “This is our way of giving back, or paying it forward.”

Hall said the group hosts roughly eight of these every year — one for each sports team except for wrestling, one for the National Honor Society and finally one for teachers. Hall said the church is not against hosting the wrestling team, but in the past that team has generally hosted its own banquets.

“We pull out all the stops,” Hall said. “Everyone gets glass dishes and real silverware. We decorate the tables with their colors and provide dinner and dessert.”

While the banquets are held at the church, there is no religious ceremony that accompanies the banquet. Hall said the celebration is about the team, not religion.

According to Hall, the best part of the banquets is watching the participants enjoy her food.

“Cooking is my favorite part,” she said. “I feel like I’m doing something special for them. I love to see them eat, and I love it even more when nothing comes back to the kitchen.”

Hall said while many may see the benefit of hosting the banquets for students, she believes the ones for teachers are just as important. Not only do they host one for the current teachers, but for retired teachers as well.

“The teachers deserve this,” Hall said. “They do a lot for our kids, tutoring and teaching them. They do a lot for our community.”

Roughly 15 people volunteer in the kitchen for each of these events, and Hall wants to thank everyone who helps make them happen. The next banquet will be held for the JV and varsity volleyball teams Nov. 12. She said she expects roughly 70 people to show up for the event.

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