The two turkeys chosen for this year's presidential pardon owe their unique names to a gaggle of Pleasanton students.
Michele Pollack's fifth-grade classroom at Donlon Elementary chose the winning names of this year's two pardoned turkeys, Honest and Abe. The turkey duo, who hail from a Modesto farm, were pardoned today by President Barack Obama as part of the 68-year White House tradition of exempting two turkeys from Thanksgiving feasts nationwide.
"Abe is now a free bird," Obama said in his pardoning remarks today. "He is TOTUS -- the Turkey of the United States."
Pollack said a parent in her classroom who works for Foster Farms told her about the contest, and students started brainstorming earlier this month.
Students initially suggested many food names, including Peach and Cobbler, and some California-themed names, such as Steph and Curry, she said.
Once students learned about the historical context of turkey pardoning, they switch gears to American-themed names such as Liberty and Bell and the winning selection of Honest and Abe.
The names were submitted to the White House's online contest, and Pollack said she recently found out her class's names were chosen as the winners.
"I was just so glad to be given the opportunity," Pollack said. She said it was incredible "to be part of something that people all over the us are taking part in, and obviously having no idea it would go this far."