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International students eat Thanksgiving meal through CBF.

Thanksgiving dinner sparks international friendships

by Madi Cannon, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University students are reaching out to their international neighbors in a special way this holiday season. On November 17, they will partner with Campus Bible Fellowship to host a free Thanksgiving dinner for Wright State University international students at the Fairborn Senior Center.

More than 70 international students from 10 countries and their families are expected to attend the 33rd annual Thanksgiving dinner. For many, it will be their first time experiencing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in America.

“We want to introduce the international students and their families to the American Thanksgiving celebration and the traditional foods,” said Gary Holtz of Campus Bible Fellowship, a campus ministry organization. “It’s a cultural experience for them but also an opportunity to show them why we as Christians are most thankful.”

The dinner provides an avenue for international students to make American friends, some of which last long after they return to their home countries. Six Cedarville students plan to serve at the dinner.

“The Thanksgiving dinner is a special event,” said Kelsy Boyes, a Cedarville University sophomore chemistry major from Charlotte, North Carolina. “We naturally connect over this fun event in a way that takes much longer in other settings.”

More than 50 community members from five local churches will contribute to the event by donating food and supplies, transporting students and serving at the dinner.

“We encourage families from our local churches to develop relationships with those they meet at the dinner by inviting them to their homes for meals and other holiday celebrations,” said Holtz.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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