Commons workers found themselves on the other side of the table at an appreciation banquet sponsored by Alianza Latina and funded by an Abbot Grant. The banquet, which was held in the Cochran Bird Sanctuary’s log cabin last Saturday, May 9, opened with an introduction from Joel Gonzales ’09 and Elizabeth Patino ’09, who welcomed the Commons staff. Gonzales and Patino delivered their speeches in both English and Spanish so that all the banquet attendees could understand them. The Commons workers thanked Alianza Latina and the students for organizing the event and for expressing their appreciation. Patino, President of Alianza Latina, was one of the students who organized and planned the event. Patino said, “The Commons workers loved it. All of them personally thanked us before they left. I think it meant more to them because it was the first time that a student organization showed them appreciation.” Students and faculty served the food and ate together with the Commons staff, and after the meal, some of the students and workers danced to salsa music. Students also helped Commons workers by babysitting their children during the banquet. The Abbot Academy Association approved the Abbot Grant for this banquet last fall, and Alianza Latina started planning for the event during winter term. The banquet marked the first student-organized event to appreciate the diligence of the Commons workers. “It was so nice to see the Commons workers in a different environment. It was fun to be able to interact with them in a different setting and serving them their food helped us appreciate what they do for us all year,” said Mariana Budge ’12, who attended the banquet. The students who organized the event also distributed thank-you notes at Commons tables the week before the banquet began.