The Huntington High School Grandfriends Club never forgets its mission, even in the midst of a public health pandemic that has turned most lives upside down.
Grandfriends is an intergenerational club focused on creating activities, planning events and collecting donations that will be used to put smiles on the faces of local senior citizens. The club provides its members with an opportunity to connect with the older generation and offer heartfelt service to Huntington’s senior citizen community.
The club’s executive board consists of Brianna Isaza (co-president), Mary Grace Rorke (co-president), Cassidy Casabona (vice president), Victoria Mangan (treasurer), Marcella Markotsis (co-secretary) and Victoria Befumo (co-secretary). Teacher Suzi Biagi is the organization’s faculty advisor.
“We recently have did a virtual valentine’s card-making day,” Ms. Isaza said. “We made these together and just talked about ideas on what we can do next in the club. The cards were made for the senior citizens. Ms. Biagi sent them out.”
The club’s members are exude such sincerity that it’s hard not to get emotional watching them in action as they go about their work. The Valentine’s Day card-making initiative is a good example of just how seriously the teenagers take their mission.
“I think it was a really nice activity and while it was small, it is the little things that count the most sometimes,” Ms. Befumo said. “We have a lot of amazing ideas for upcoming events. Next month we are planning to go to the senior center while they pick up their weekly meals and hold up signs to try and lift their spirits. We are trying to think of any ideas that we can to bring joy into their days and it is very difficult while working with seniors since they are at high risk for COVID-19. We are really doing the best we can. These unusual circumstances definitely have made all of us use our creative sides to come up with unique ideas and activities.”
At this point of a typical year the club would have already completed a long list of activities, making appearances around town and planning for its annual grand finale: a senior prom in the school cafeteria for senior citizens.
“Although we can’t have our annual senior, senior prom this year, we are trying to make the most of what we can do,” Ms. Rorke said. “We are currently planning on making Easter/spring decorations to put in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.”
Interested in learning more or joining the group? Grandfriends meets on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Use Google Classroom code 2duidyf to log into the meeting. Text Remind code @grandfr to 81010. Send a message to Ms. Biagi at email@example.com.