Holiday Meal 2016 Thank You’s!

Thank you BHS Community!!!

BHS Holiday Meal Photo’s by Mark Coplan


Thank you to everyone who participated in canned food drive, toiletry drive, fundraising, campaign and the Holiday Meal itself. It is a beautiful thing that we open the doors of our public school to any and all community members, no matter their situation, and provide them with a spirited event. I hope that this huge display of empathy doesn’t stop with this event, but rather encourages many more acts of kindness.

Zoey Horowitz, Chief of Service, did an outstanding effort to make the meal a heartwarming experience for the guests that attended and for the people that volunteered. Her parents are to be appreciated for their shopping trips and work in the kitchen. Zoey brought in a new element this year by requesting that a City of Berkeley employee set up a table to discuss city services with guests. Mayor Arreguin even made an appearance to check out the happenings at the Holiday Meal.

  • We have over 290 volunteers who gave over 700 hours of services.
  • We raised over $3,000 to cover expenses and collected at least 12,000 pounds of food.
  • Any leftover food was brought to the Harrison House by long time volunteer, Tom Watts.
  • Our menu was artfully crafted by Sydney Kennedy.
  • Thank you to the BHS Band & Orchestra who provided cheerful holiday music before and during the meal.
  • Also, major shout out to Milton and the Innovators who brought in their positive vibes entertainment to the cafeteria, getting a line of dancers
  • Thank you to Starbuck’s on Solano for their contribution to the meal.
  • Thank you to the Dorothy Day House for contributing toiletries to guests and being a friendly face in the donation area.
  • Thank you to all of our faithful donors who help to make this event a joy to carry out.
  • Appreciation for the Berkeley Times for sharing the aspect of the meal with their readers.
  • Also, shout out to Mark Coplan, who stopped by to take photos, even though we thought he had retired.
  • Thank you to Tucker Andrew and Thomas Besset ,the CAS student film crew, who captured video of the event and helped to produce a short film about the event.
  • Tashi, BHS School Chef, who logged an extra 12 hours in the kitchen this weekend to make sure the food prep was smooth.
  • Genis Family with a special shoutout to Eli Genis who collected over 70 coats for the donation station as part of a bar mitvah project.
  • Thanks to our safety staff for ensuring a secure event and interacting so well with the guests…
  • Travis Dennis, Mark Griffin, Eric Riley,Steve Saunders, and Chris Ewing.
  • Felicia Phillips for helping with issues that popped up and managing the crowds
And our final shout out goes to the guests who provide wisdom during conversations that cause deep reflection upon our own situations at the close of the calendar year. There is definitely a lot to be grateful for these days.

“When I saw her dancing, it brought tears to my eyes. You know, she was once a teenager. And when she was dancing, she was real happy like she was she a kid again with no problems.” – guest making an observation about another guest who was dancing along to the singing group, the Innovators

Her comment was a great reminder about seeing through the exterior appearance and finding the real person inside each one of us…