Thanksgiving in Kansas

Hundreds of foreign students have eaten a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a Kansas family over the last 50 years.

(Tom) Grimwood’s late mother, Betty, began the Thanksgiving tradition by inviting foreign students from the University of Kansas to travel the 130 miles from Lawrence to break bread with her.

Since then, the Thanksgiving Homestay Program has spread from Burns, not far from Wichita, to towns throughout Kansas.

. . . Sometimes, the friendships last. A student from Venezuela met the Grimwoods for Thanksgiving in the late 1950s. This year, he sent his granddaughter to spend part of her holiday with the Kansas family. Another South American student from the inaugural class, now 73, traveled from her Houston home to visit Burns last week.

This Thanksgiving, 24 Kansas families are hosting foreign students.

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