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From the fresh flowers on every table, black tablecloths and a three-course gourmet meal, the luncheon was meant to show teachers and members of the school staffs how much they are appreciated.

The Family Church welcomed more than 70 Marco Island teachers from Tommie Barfield Elementary School, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Marco Island Academy at the Educator’s Appreciation Luncheon in their honor.

Monday was a school district workday so teachers were available to go to lunch. Students were still off for spring break.

One surprise for the teachers was being served by some of the students that had been in their classes.

March Island Charter Middle School Principal George Abounader attended with several teachers.

“What a great lunch and hospitality,” he said.

Future church plans include more outreach in the community with an upcoming luncheon for first responders in the community.

“The luncheon was such a bold, heartfelt expression of gratitude and generosity; the food was delicious, the setting was warm and inviting, and the gesture was so kind and sincerely appreciated,” said Amber Prang, of Marco Island Academy. “A huge thanks to all of the volunteers that helped to make yesterday afternoon so special.”

Long-time Charter Middle School secretary Rona Donato attended and sent a thank you to the church.

“Thank you so much for organizing and inviting us,” said Donato.

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