Huntington High School’s Grandfriends club has been bridging the generations for 24 years. That same tradition continues today. Members are a busy bunch. Dozens have responded to this year’s call and they have been making a difference throughout the community over the past four months.
Club faculty advisors Suzie Biagi and Camille DeCanio work closely with students to maximize the group’s impact, which is considerable. “The intergenerational club’s main focus is to create activities, collect donations and run an annual senior prom for our communities’ senior citizens,” Mrs. Biagi said. “This year three such activities have already taken place, Safe Halloween being the first where the students ran a cookie decorating and bean bag toss room, which provided elementary school age students with an alternative to door to door trick or treating.”
Grandfriends club members are a devoted cast of teenagers. “This was my first Safe Halloween and I loved it” said freshman Jessica Lemus, who assisted children of all ages with their activities. “It was fun helping them decorate the cookies and their costumes were wonderful. It was a happy afternoon for us.”
No sooner than the Halloween decorations were down, a non-perishable food drive kicked off to fill Thanksgiving baskets that were later donated to a local senior citizens center. This year, nine baskets were put together, complete with gift cards in sufficient amounts to purchase a turkey. The baskets were raffled off at the Town of Huntington’s Senior Center during its annual Thanksgiving luncheon. Another 200 pounds of non-perishable items were dropped off at local food pantries.
Holiday caroling was the most recent initiative that the Grandfriends club successfully pulled off. Members of the group sang their hearts out at the Atria assisting living facility in Huntington Station.
“It was time to bring the child out in all of us and the GrandFriends did just that,” Mrs. Biagi said. “We met Joe, 96 years young and he loved, loved our caroling elves and they sure loved singing to their many fans.”
Planning for the 25th annual “senior-senior” prom will soon commence. While the theme of this year’s big event hasn’t been determined, the date for the bash is May 4.
“Camille and I could not be prouder of our kids,” Mrs. Biagi said. “They bring so many smiles to our older residents. They fundraise every dime and they never complain about all the work. The Huntington High School Grandfriends are simply the best of the best!”