New England celebrates Cinco de Mayo with fundraiser

The New England High School Band Students, along with the Tiger Booster Club, served an authentic Mexican feast to the public on Saturday, May 9 at the Memorial Hall. Proceeds from the meal went to the students’ future trip to San Fransico next summer in 2016.

Takoda Westling, Eve Stener, Shelley Kathrein, & Logan Wolf, help serve. [PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | The Herald]
Takoda Westling, Eve Stener, Shelley Kathrein, & Logan Wolf, help serve. [PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | The Herald]
By RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald

The New England High School Band Students, along with the Tiger Booster Club, served an authentic Mexican feast to the public on Saturday, May 9 at the Memorial Hall. Proceeds from the meal went to the students’ future trip to San Fransico next summer in 2016.

Following the Cinco de Mayo theme, the meal consisted of homemade chicken enchiladas, pork tamales, Spanish rice, beans, and all the fixings.

Preparation began the weekend before, as a group of parents with the direction of Christina Geerts, got together to start making the tamales. Christina, who lives in Regent, came down to New England to share her family recipes and showed the ladies how to make the traditional Mexican meal. Tamale is a Mexican dish of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks. One hundred pounds of pork went into making the tamales, which was first placed into smokers to cook the meat. The preparation for the Tamales took all day on Saturday, May 2, as some ladies worked from 7:00 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning May 3. Each batch of Tamales took two to three hours to steam. The finished product was then frozen, so they could be cooked the following weekend for the feast. Christina also showed the ladies how to make the chicken enchiladas, along with the Spanish rice.

All the ingredients used were donated by all of the band parents. Almost all of the students took turns working the night of the meal in two-hour shifts.

The left over enchiladas and tamales were sold after the Band and Choir concert on Monday, May 11.

Over $2,000 was raised Saturday night.

Conway Heupel, New England High School Band Director hopes his students will be able to have at least three band performances while they are in San Fransico. The band will also be taking a master class at a college or university and they also plan on doing some sight seeing.

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