The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Tracy Thompson
The Times 

Tailgate party a fun tradition

Waitsburg High football players provide


October 17, 2019

Tracy Thompson

Andrew Reeves, Theo Anderson, Erin Elsey, Food Services Assistant, Colton VanBlaricom, Shawn Evans, Susan Wildey. Susan Wildey, Director of Child Nutition and Erin Elsey, Food Services Assistant, treat the Waitsburg High students who assisted with the Tailgate Party to a drink at Ten Ton Coffee before the event.

WAITSBURG-Susan Wildey, Director of Child Nutrition for the Waitsburg School District, is a big San Francisco 49ers fan. Her love for the San Francisco team has garnered a good bit of harassment from the elementary school students over the years, most of whom were Seattle Seahawk fans. She started the tailgate party at the elementary school four years ago as a reaction from all the Monday morning jabs and goading she received from the students over the games from the weekend.  "I decided at that time to do a tailgate party the Friday before the first Seahawks versus San Francisco 49er game.  It was so much fun and the kids loved it, that we continued the tradition," she said in an email. Most of the decorations have been accumulated over the years with personal purchases including both Seahawks and 49ers décor. 

Tracy Thompson

The Waitsburg Cardinal oversees the ring toss game.

She enlisted the high school football players this year to facilitate the games and just have extra hands. "The younger students really love the interaction with the high schoolers.  We are so fortunate to have such wonderful older students that enjoy helping out and really get into the spirit of things.  Our guys this year wanted to do it all!  They prepped food, cooked, served, and dressed up in the Cardinal mascot costume to lead games. I couldn't have asked for a better group to help," she said.

The scene at the elementary school was lively! Students played ring-toss with hula hoops, while the Waitsburg Cardinal helped, and they answered trivia questions from Susan and her assistant Erin Elsey. Hot dogs were decorated with attractive squiggles and there were banners and pennants decorating the multipurpose room. "We are so fortunate to have such wonderful staff and administration that focus on the overall care of our students which includes a little fun now and again," said Susan.


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