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Ponderosa provides Thanksgiving meal for Massena Nursery School

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MASSENA - Thanksgiving came early for Massena Nursery School students on Monday, thanks to the Ponderosa restaurant in Massena.

Ponderosa donated rolls, potatoes, rice, stuffing and banana bread for the youngsters and staff who were at the nursery school on Monday.

Karen Hewlett, who teaches a 3-year-old class, said she got to know Holly Snyder from Ponderosa when Ms. Snyder’s daughter attended the nursery school.

“I had her daughter a couple of years ago in my class,” Ms. Hewlett said.

Ms. Snyder had approached the nursery school about providing meals in exchange for the school distributing coupons and flyers about the restaurant. As Thanksgiving rolled around, Ms. Hewlett said she had asked if the restaurant could provide the nursery school with corn bread this year.

“She offered the whole meal for today and tomorrow. She’s like, ‘We’ll do the whole meal.’ I was all excited,” she said.

And so on Monday, Ms. Snyder was at the Massena Nursery School to deliver the meal to the 44 youngsters, parent helpers and teachers. The children donned hand-made Pilgrim and Native American headbands as they saw down in the cafeteria to enjoy the feast.

“All of our children made some kind of mask or hat to wear,” Ms. Hewlett said.

Ms. Snyder will also be delivering food today to a smaller group that includes just the 3-year-olds, and Ms. Hewlett said Ponderosa will also be helping with food during their Christmas concert.

It’s part of a new effort for the restaurant this year, Ms. Snyder said.

“We started the program this year. We dropped off letters to all of the schools,” she said. “We just did another for Trinity Catholic.”

They also donated chocolate chip cookies and banana bread for the Trinity feast, she said.

There’s more to come too, according to Ms. Snyder. She said Ponderosa also plans to start a fundraising program in coordination with the schools. She said they’ll pick fundraiser days and make flyers to hand out indicating that 10 percent of the business that day will go to the school.

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