Giving Thanks Feast 2012

Clockwise from bottom left: Sergio Marroquin, Howard Ibach, Gustavo Sanchez, Fernando Zacarias, Edwin Moran, Jessica Corona, Lionel Tate,  Kevin Garnett,  Jimmy Valdez, Alton Pitre and Eliana Yoneda.

Clockwise from bottom left: Sergio Marroquin, Howard Ibach, Gustavo Sanchez, Fernando Zacarias, Edwin Moran, Jessica Corona, Lionel Tate, Kevin Garnett, Jimmy Valdez, Alton Pitre and Eliana Yoneda.

 

On November 15th, the colors of fall and the alluring scent of cinnamon decorated and drifted through the IOW office and alumni classroom.  Thirty-six guests, including alumni, volunteers and community partners, were welcomed and embraced by staff the moment they arrived.  This was an occasion many people had been waiting for — an event where old friends could reunite and new friends would be made.  This was our 3rd annual Giving Thanks Feast.

 

Following tradition, every guest was asked to write a “Note of Gratitude” and place it in a basket.  Each guest was also given an opportunity to win a prize in several raffles.  This year’s gifts included gift cards to restaurants, tickets to Six Flags Magic Mountain and an MP3 player.  As the winners were called and the prizes were claimed, the IOW office was saturated with the sound of laughter and squeals of excitement.

 

Guests were treated to a traditional turkey feast and as they broke bread with one another, it became quite obvious that InsideOUT Writers doesn’t just claim to be a family, it truly is a family.  The words of one of our alums further cemented the essence of IOW:  “I am grateful for the persistence and belief that made the entire IOW family combine hands with me.  From one side of California to the other.  Had it not been for your belief in me when I didn’t believe in myself … I wouldn’t be here today.  I always had the best family ever to keep my head up.  I love you IOW!!!”

 

-Jimmy Wu

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