A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Twentieth Annual Brookfield Central High School Thanksgiving Dinner for Senior Citizens.
The Student Council gets the credit for underwriting the cost and staffing the event. The planning was handled by Shirley Smanski and Su Edington, with assistance from Principal Don LaBonte, and Associate Principals Natalie Collins and Jim Darin. Students staffed the parking lot to assist residents who needed it, and to ensure they were comfortably and swiftly seated. They also waited in attendance on them, bringing them coffee, water, dessert, or anything else they might have desired. It was clear that both youth and seniors enjoyed each other's company.
This day was special to me for several reasons. It was my first attendance of this fine and noble tradition. Secondly, I had the pleasure of escorting my mother, God-mother, and three of their life-long friends to the event. I was able to meet and visit with several delightful people, and end the afternoon by a surprise visit to my daughter's locker at the end of her school day. Lastly, and most importantly, it was just heart-warming to see so many of our local residents turn out and enjoy each other's company, and be waited upon by the students.
Over three hundred area residents attended, and while visiting and eating, enjoyed music provided by The Lancer Jazz Ensemble led by Jason Gillette, and the Choir, led by Phil Olson. Superintendent Matt Gibson played a medley of seasonal and patriotic songs on the piano, and was joined in song by the seniors. He also recogonized a World War Two Veteran who was in attendance.
It is a unique event. It is a uniquely AMERICAN event. If you are a senior citizen and have not attended, I urge you to consider doing so next year.
So often we hear about problems or negative issues in our schools, and I don't suggest that yesterday obviates such concerns. But it should be placed alongside of them in recognition that, even in times like these, there are ALWAYS things to be thankful for. And even amidst all of the bad news out there, we still have young people who find joy in offering events like this, and serving those who paved the way for them. That is something to celebrate. More importantly, it is something to nurture and encourage.
I walked home with a lighter step than I have had in some time.
Thanks to everyone involved, and most of all, to our seniors.