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Castleberry Fairs

BMS students turn turkey for a good cause



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Winners in the 2011 Gobble Wobble at Belmont Middle School last week were Connor Jackson for Best Costume, while Ian Rupp and Riley Woods toed for Best Turkey Call. Besides all the fun, students gathered nearly 1,000 pounds of nonperishable goods for the food pantry at St. Joseph’s Church in Belmont. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011
BELMONT — In keeping with a tradition nearly two decades long, students at Belmont Middle School gathered for the Gobble Wobble on Nov. 22. Once again, they paraded through the gym in turkey attire, gave their best turkey calls, then presented the food pantry at St. Joseph's church with nearly 1,000 pounds of food they gathered to show they it wasn't all just fun and games.

BMS principal Tim Saunders said the concept of the Gobble Wobble began more than 17 years ago with teacher John Goegel, who has since moved on to the high school's math department. Goegel left behind a legacy of community spirit, however, where students at the Middle School not only enjoy the fun and laughter of competing in turkey calling and costumery, but spend the weeks prior to the event collecting nonperishable food items.

"The real purpose of this activity is to help those in need at this difficult time of year," Saunders reminded students before the Turkey Parade began.

The festivities were kicked off this year with the Cornucopia Trio, comprised of Grace Shaw, Eric Osgood and special education aide Robin Jackman, who entertained the crowd with a song on their French horns. Judges were then chosen at random and Tom White, Chad Davis and Aaron Jones were the lucky staff members called forward to don a special turkey hat and make the tough decisions as turkeys from each class paraded before them.

Fifth grade student Carter Dutton kicked off the gobbling by stepping to the "Fowl Line" of the gym to belt out his best turkey impression. One by one, each entry gave their all but Logan Wilder had a different twist on a turkey call this year.

"Wow — a beat boxing turkey," laughed Saunders as Wilder gave his "hip" impression.

The costumes were all unique, from fuzzy turkeys to outfits created from construction paper, brown cloth and even orange knee socks and paper feet to bring a little authenticity to their look. One class from the eighth grade led their blackened turkey into the gym with a sign around his neck reading, "Just made by mom…a little overdone," while an eighth grader campaigned for ham for the traditional feast. Another was so realistic with his call that an entire "flock of turkeys" came running from the crowd in response.

Judges were amazed by all the participants and points soared this year, making the final decision a tough one. Strutting off with top honors for his costume was sixth grade student Connor Jackson. Eighth graders dominated the turkey call competition however, and in the end it was a tie between Ian Rupp and Riley Woods.

Prizes for classroom displays were also awarded this year as students were asked to create "Thankful Thanksgiving Turkeys."

Saunders also announced the totals from the food collection of each homeroom class, and Wanda White's fifth graders this year won an ice cream party for their outstanding donation of 275 pounds of food for the St. Joseph Catholic Church's food pantry.

Father Paul Boudreau is new to the Belmont parish and said one of the first things he was told about upon arrival was the generosity of the Middle School students during their annual Gobble Wobble.

"All of this effort is going to an excellent cause. You're helping people who might otherwise have nothing," Boudreau told them. "Thank you for all you have done. I look forward to being a part of this every year."

Principal Aaron Pope also took a few moments to congratulate the students on all they had done to help others.

"At this time of year, we're all busy, but we need to take time to give thanks. I'm thankful to be part of such a giving community," Pope said.

Martin Lord Osman
Tiffany Eddy
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