After a successful Harvest Festival last year, Union Endicott (UE) High School is continuing a new tradition.

Hundreds of attendees gathered for an afternoon of food, games and community-based fun.

"One of the things -- when I first got this position -- [that] we wanted to do is be able to make the district a public community," said Chris Murdock, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at UE. "So what we're doing with Harvest Fest is we are bringing all the agencies to our community, to our families, to our students."

Over a dozen community agencies promoted their services, ranging from food pantries to health care. Free food was also available, including pizza, salad, and -- in-line with Thanksgiving spirit -- turkeys.

"This is my home," Murdock said. "I've been here for 17 years now. So I want to be able to give something back to the community, especially to a community that has welcomed me in and treated me like family. I want to be able to give back to them as well. And, as a school district, we feel that this is a need."

Connecting families to local services was a key goal of the festival. To accomplish this, raffles and games centered around interacting with vendors.

Before the festival was over, prizes had already been sold out.

"It's great, this is what we want," Murdock said. "We want to expand every single year. We want to get bigger and bigger and bigger. So you know it's just a great opportunity for everybody to connect and to enjoy."