Thursday, February 8, 2018

Annual FFA banquet on the horizon

By: Lilly Sayre
   The FFA club will be hosting its banquet the evening of Friday, February 16th. Our chapter holds the earliest Banquet in the state due to our tradition of holding it before national FFA week. The evening is scheduled full of ceremonies, and award distributions. It is also a time to give thanks to everyone who has helped our chapter make it as far as it has today. 
   The meal starts at 6:15p.m. in the Ripley High School cafeteria where lasagna and alfredo prepared by Fat Alberts will be served. When the main course of the meal is finished, desserts from The Roane-Jackson Tech Center will be offered. 
   After everyone fills their stomachs we will make our way to auditorium for the awards ceremony. Events are usually concluded around 8:30 but this year the Officer Installation Ceremony has been added. 
  This seems pretty early for most seeing as Craig Canterbury says, “Many years ago the banquet would last well after ten o’clock.”  
   It is a low price of $5 for members and their families to attend. Award sponsors are offered the chance to attend for free, but they also have donated $30 to $100 to help cover the cost of pins, plaques, etc. for the event. Teachers along with some community members and supports are also invited at no cost.
   During the evening, a senior slideshow is played to take time to reflect. The chapter also offers attending senior members their FFA graduation cords. This is an emotional evening for most of the club’s seniors as it is their last banquet as a FFA member. 
   Senior Madison Jones says, “This is only my second banquet, but I know it will be the most memorable. I never thought that the FFA would give as much to me as it has. It is very bittersweet to see it coming to an end.” 
   After this year graduated members will be offered the chance to join the Ripley FFA Alumni.    
   Senior Natasha Paugh says, “I will be joining the Alumni because I appreciate what they have   done for our chapter in my time of being a member. I want the tradition to keep going. If we didn't have our Alumni we wouldn’t be the chapter we are today and I want younger kids to have the same passion for FFA that I have!”
 The club has put in hours of hard work to make this event possible. It is expected to be a night packed full of laughter, tears, and good times. So, join us Friday for an evening you won’t forget!


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