Red carnations were a striking contrast to the beautifully decorated tables that greeted over 70 Marco Island K-12 teachers for a relaxing and delicious lunch in their honor at the Family Church on Winterberry Drive. The lunch was provided, free of charge, to the administrators, teachers, and support staff that were required to attend the final district “in service” day of the year, when no students were present at the schools. Several students actually took that last day of spring break to help provide this special time for the educators. In addition to the students, 50 volunteers from the church signed up to work on different well-organized teams on both Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in preparation for serving at the midday luncheon.
The menu, created by Family Church member, Michael Passero, was prepared from scratch, under Passero’s direction, by the volunteers that chopped, mixed, boiled, and grilled their way to the teachers’ hearts. Rosemary oven-baked chicken, served over orzo pasta with winter roastedvegetables alongside a Marco Island garden salad with fresh strawberries, dried cherries and cranberries preceded the delicious strawberry cake dessert.
One group of teachers said that they weren’t sure what to expect when they arrived at the church for the lunch, but were pleasantly surprised by the thought and consideration that had gone into the event. In fact, the Family Church received dozens of thank you cards following the luncheon. Tommie Barfield Elementary teacher, Susan Baumler, wrote, “The food was delicious and the service was excellent! More importantly, the love and spirit in which it was given was beautiful to witness. Thank you for supporting us in such a kind and generous way.” Marco Island Charter Middle School secretary, Rona Donato, summed it up in her note, “Thank you so much for organizing and inviting us to this luncheon. It was outstanding from the minute we got there; the greeters, servers, the delicious meal, and right down to the flower as we left. What a terrific start to the week.”