Volleyball: Aurora Central players serve up free Thanksgiving meal

Aurora Central volleyball players Kameo Campbell, left, and Akolda Redgebol bring pieces of pie to the lunch room during the Trojans’ second annual free community Thanksgiving dinner held on Nov. 16, 2017, at Aurora Central High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

A week before Thanksgiving, the Aurora Central volleyball team again served up its thanks to its community.

On Nov. 16, the Trojans put on a free Thanksgiving meal for people in the community, continuing a tradition they started last year.

The players organized the event in just about every way, from securing the food to decorating the school’s lunch room to taking reservations to serving food to people face-to-face.

“It makes me happy to do this, even though it’s stressful at times,” senior outside hitter Akolda Redgebol said as she took a break from shuttling heaping plates of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls to arriving people.

“At the end, when you get to talk to all of the wonderful families that come, you find out they get a little joy from being here,” she added. “It just takes a little bit of that stress away from them.”

Junior libero Ana De Los Santos said the team puts on the meal as a way to “not only thank them for supporting us, but for supporting the school.”

With varsity players working together with players from the younger levels, Redgebol said team members have been working on their respective jobs since the second week of October, when they were still in the midst of a successful 11-12 season on the court. Trojans’ players called sponsors for food donations and took care of all the logistics as well.

On the day of the meal, Aurora Central coach Barry Lago arrived at the school at 8:30 a.m., got a smoker fired up and ready by 9:30 a.m. and put several large turkeys in to cook for six hours.

From there, the food was prepared by the school’s cafeteria workers.

Lago said more than 80 people had called in advance to reserve a place and many others would likely stop in during a five-hour window.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel