It was a "senior" moment, for both young and old, Friday at Fairfield Ludlowe High School as the school's seniors hosted a breakfast for older adults that's become an end-of-year tradition.
Held Friday morning in Ludlowe's cafeteria, the annual "Seniors Serving Seniors" breakfast was an opportunity for 20 members of the Class of 2011 to pay tribute to 120 local senior citizens. The breakfast menu featured pancakes, eggs and waffles, 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."
Frank Totto, the director of pupil services, said the morning's turnout was among 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 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."
Barbara Figlar, grandmother of FLHS senior Chris Amicucci, a guitarist playing with an ensemble at the breakfast, 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."
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."
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. "I admire this generation. They're very giving."
As for the Class of '11 seniors, 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.
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."