Thanksgiving in August?

At first the idea may have seemed a little strange, but the James B. Fillmores of Murray were anxious to share a traditional American holiday with a visitor at their home and had only a short time to do it.So they made plans for an Aug. 1 turkey dinner, to which Paula Maldonado, 14, a cultural exchange student from Spain, and 16 immediate and extended family members were invited.

Paula was in Utah for nearly a month as part of a national student exchange organization.

Diana Fillmore said they discussed things they could do to make Paula stay more enjoyable and settled on Thanksgiving.

"We thought, wouldn't it be fun to have Thanksgiving while she is here? Christmas seemed a little much, but Thanksgiving is such a traditional American holiday," the Fillmores said.

Mashed potatos and gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, home-made croissants, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, lemonade, fruit salad, potato salad and pumpkin pie with whipped cream were served.

Paula is a tall, slender, brown-haired teenager who wears her hair in a ponytail. She visited the United States last year and says in halting English that she would like to return to Utah. One of the Fillmore children, Rachael, 14, who takes Spanish in school, hopes to visit Spain.

Paula is a ninth grader in Jerez De Lafrontera, Spain. The Fillmores communicated with the girl's parents before and while she was in Utah.

During part of her 28-day visit Paula and the family vacationed in southern Utah and California.