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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Seniors Host Senior Citizens at School Breakfast

Seniors Host Senior Citizens 
at School Breakfast:
FLHS Class of 2011 pay tribute 
to town’s elders
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)

Fairfield, CT – It was a delightful morning for all in attendance as seniors young and old met and mingled over a sit-down breakfast.

Held Friday morning in Fairfield Ludlowe High School’s cafeteria, the 5th annual “Seniors Serving Seniors” breakfast was an opportunity for 20 graduating senior classmen to honor 120 local senior citizens. The event included a menu of pancakes, eggs and waffles, live musical entertainment provided by the FLHS Jazz Ensemble, student singers and a raffle for school hats and t-shirts. A sea theme prevailed with centerpieces of sand and shells, and shell necklaces were given to each attendee.

“This is really an opportunity to give back and helps create good relations with people in town,” said Bridget McHugh, Senior Class Advisor and the lead event organizer. “Kids get a lot of bad press, so this is a chance for the older population to see some of the good work that we do here.”

Director of Pupil Services Frank Tatto, a co-coordinator, said the morning’s turnout was the best response to date. “Our older citizens love seeing the kids, love the music and are full of stories about their own high school experience,” he said. “This is a valuable part of our community, the history of Fairfield. It’s a way to thank them.”

Helping greet seniors as they arrived onsite and were shuttled by a golf cart from their cars to the cafeteria, Counselor Tony Samuelian said the event is one of his favorites. “It’s a real big day,” he said. “There’s not a person here who doesn’t get a kick out of this. I get a kick seeing them so happy. Something as simple as breakfast makes all the difference in the world.”

Attendee Barbara Figlar, grandmother of FLHS senior Chris Amicucci, a guitarist playing with the ensemble, appreciated the gesture. “This is an extraordinary gift to us seniors,” she said. “We’re fortunate to have the school system we do here in Fairfield.”

Senior citizen Nancy Roche agreed with Figlar, saying, “This is absolutely wonderful. Fairfield offers a lot to us seniors. We really appreciate it. I walked from my house downtown and brought a lot of my friends.”

Attendee Marcelle Conrad was reminded of her school days. “I’m a Roger Ludlowe grad and I feel like I’m eating together with my old classmates,” she said, adding, “I admire this generation. They’re very giving.”

As for the younger senior counterparts, Senior Class President Zach Tobin said, “It feels good to give back to folks that have done so much for the town, and country. They’re very interesting to talk to and have some great feedback.”

As seniors finished their meals, Tatto welcomed the gathering, joking, “It’s great to look out at this cafeteria and see so many young people. I thought I was at the teen center.”

Following the meal, the ensemble and singers performed several numbers, which inspired a handful of students to draw seniors to their feet to dance. The raffle capped the morning, awarding FLHS swag to attendees based on information they had supplied. For example, Laura Coleman, at age 96, was tapped as Most Senior Female. Peggy Seach had the most grandkids, with 14. Julie Schempp had the distinction of being married longest, at 70 years.

Equally notable, Bert Andren was recognized for being one of four generations to have attended Ludlowe. “In our family, my mother was the first graduate of Ludlowe, then me in ’55 and my son in ’82,” he said. “Now my grandson, Reid, who’s captain of the tennis team, is graduating,” he said. “I have nine grandchildren in the Fairfield school system, so there’s more on the way to carry on a great tradition.”

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