Bainbridge State College freshman Kayla Wagner decided coordinating a Thanksgiving feast for almost 100 of Bainbridge and Decatur County’s first responders would get her out of a test – and it did.

On Friday, Nov. 22, Wagner’s extra credit project fed 65 members of the Bainbridge Public Safety Department, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and Jail, the Decatur County Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Services a Thanksgiving feast at First Baptist Church’s fellowship hall. There were additional to-go plates and meals for the volunteers who helped her.

“It was nice and they appreciated it,” said Wagner, a resident of Bainbridge and a freshman studying criminal justice at Bainbridge State.

At the beginning of the fall semester, Dr. Steve Hougland, assistant professor of criminal justice at Bainbridge State, offered to all his students the choice of doing a community service project for extra credit. However, the kicker for Dr. Hougland was that when Wagner approached him on her idea, he tried to talk her out of it.

“I offer it every semester, but I have never had it this big and involved,” Dr. Hougland said. “But Kayla was the first of my students who not only planned it and organized it, but carried it out with exceptional success.”

Wagner garnered donations to purchase a full Thanksgiving meal complete with turkey and dressing, plus she had a Bainbridge insurance agent cook Boston butts and a Bainbridge restaurant donate the rolls.

Dr. Hougland said the public servants were very appreciative of Wagner’s effort and happy it helped her get an “A” in the class.


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