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Angie Manzanares
Granger High School students show off their dancing and musical skills during a talent show. The event was organized to raise money for the annual senior citizen dinner, which was recently canceled dut to lack of funds.

WEST VALLEY CITY — It’s a tradition most Granger High School students eagerly anticipate each holiday season, but this past December was different. The funds to keep the tradition alive just weren’t there.

For the last eight years, students at the school have worked with the West Valley police and fire departments to help host a holiday dinner for local senior citizens. They have adopted the annual event as a huge service project with more than 100 students helping with decorations, escorting seniors, serving meals and cleaning up.

Unfortunately, funds for the event – around $4,000 – that usually come from the police and fire departments were not available this year, and the dinner was canceled.

Although saddened by the news, students were also determined to keep the tradition alive. They served up a tasty treat of their own this week with the hopes of raising enough money for the dinner by showing off their talents.

The Granger High School Talent Show Menu was divided up into four portions: appetizers, first course, second course and dessert. Students belted out operatic medleys, stroked the strings of a cello and moved to the sounds of traditional African music.

Granger senior Maria Burgos said she and other students welcomed the opportunity to help.

“We heard the senior citizen center banquet was canceled and we came up with this idea to contribute a little,” she said. “Granger is always classified as being ghetto or bad, but we need to show the good students we have here."

More than 200 people attended the event and nearly $750 was raised to host the dinner this March. But it’s still not enough.

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“The initial idea the students had was to try to have the dinner here at the school for about 350 senior citizens, like the Christmas dinners that the West Valley police and fire have done in the past,” said school advisor Rilla Jameson. “But the price tag on that with insurance and transportation is about $4,000, according to the student research. The students who had this idea are still trying to think of some other fundraisers they could do to get more involved.”

If you would like to donate to the senior citizen dinner, please contact Granger High School at 385-646-5320 and ask to donate to the senior citizen project.

Angie Manzanares is a former teacher and journalist. She currently works for the Granite School District as a public relations specialist. Her hobbies include photography, graphic design, dancing, and screaming at Jazz games.