The abandoned Country Day campus on Nov. 16. Classes were cancelled from Nov. 14 to 16 due to unhealthy air quality from the Camp Fire, thus giving students an early start to their Thanksgiving break. (Photo by Jacqueline Chao)

Record-breaking Turkey Drive achieved despite school closure (slideshow included)

Although all classes were suspended due to hazardous air quality on Thursday, Nov. 15, the eighth annual Turkey Drive continued in full force.

Organizer senior Luca Procida set this year’s goal at 500 turkeys, an increase from last year’s collection of 446 turkeys.

Many were discouraged and thought that the goal could not be met due to the absence of classes. However, the Country Day community was not stopped by a little smoke.

From 7:30 to 9 a.m. cars consistently lined up in front of the lower school, with parents and staff dropping off both turkeys and cash donations.

Volunteers, including students, parents and staff, stood on the curb wearing particle masks, collecting the countless frozen birds.

As the minutes wore on, the back of the white pickup began to fill with turkeys, and the energy among students, parents and staff began to pick up.

By 9 a.m., the goal of 500 turkeys had been more than just met: 528 turkeys were collected, and $1,600 in cash donations were received.

All proceeds went to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, which puts on the Sacramento-wide Turkey Drive each year.

After collecting all the turkeys from the SCDS community, seniors Blake Lincoln, Jack Christian and Procida went downtown to 34th Street to deliver the proceeds.

The three seniors were met with cheers and smiles as they drove the two truck-fulls of turkeys into the donation center. The boys were even featured on the morning news, recognized for their commitment to the Sacramento community.

Procida and the class of 2019 started the Turkey Drive when they were in fifth grade, receiving fewer than 100 turkeys in that first year. Now, the drive has grown to become a part of the Country Day community.

“Thank you to the many teachers, employees, parents and students who make this community so great,” head of school Lee Thomsen said in a school-wide email. 

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—By Jack Christian

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