FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue Middle School students recently held a free community-wide social event geared toward the interests of senior citizens.
The school cafeteria was slightly transformed into an era of the 1950s or 1960s. Music was provide by DJs Richard and Tracey Pease, school staff provided cribbage boards and Scrabble games and bingo was called. The students greeted their new friends from Edgewood Manor, Sandy River Rehab and the county in general. Retired teachers, past librarians and an ex-Marine all shared their stories with each other and the teens, who countered with stories of their own.
Much of the preplanning for the event was done by teacher Maureen Oswald’s Elderly Philanthropy Group, one of five groups developed by Katahdin Community teachers at Mt. Blue Middle School. Philanthropy groups were formed last year by the community of teachers as a way to show their students how much they have to offer in the world. Other groups include the less fortunate, soldiers, the environment and the animal shelter.
“Our teachers want us to learn more than the core subjects. They have shown us that sometimes when we give of our time to other people or causes, it really makes a difference. It feels right,” said Courtney Austin, who also was a key player in Help for Haiti this year at the middle school, which raised $2,000 for the country after their earthquake.
The Elderly Philanthropy Group made posters and advertised and tickets were designed and distributed. Students and staff baked for the event. To ensure the event was free for the seniors, the students held fundraisers including bottle drives and yard sales and collected donations.
The social event lasted for two hours, and it was noted that not one person left until the announcement was made that a wonderful evening had concluded. Each guest was given a party favor donated by Patty Flagg. The group already has plans to invite their new friends to their upcoming semi-formal on May 15.
Mt. Blue Middle School students attending the event included: Rileigh Blanchet, Amanda Moody, Emily Knowles, Jenna Presby, Courtney Phelps, Brooklynn Pease, Joe King, Mikayla Oswald, Courtney Austin, Amber Cusson, Sarita Crandall, Kiana Thompson, Lucy Celon, Lisa Couture, Kelly Couture, Emmye Senecal. Helping to plan but unable to attend were Nate Backus and Brad Dwinal.