DURYEA — Kindergarten and first-grade students at Holy Rosary School were joined for lunch by special guests — their grandparents.
The school’s annual Grandparents’ Luncheon on Sept. 22 featured plenty of food and laughter from the gathering families.
The day kicked off with grandparents, or parents in some cases, assembling in the school gymnasium for a quick program presented by students who sang “God Bless America,” “Angel On My Shoulder” and “For Baby” by John Denver.
Holy Rosary School Principal Candice Lee said the program and luncheon have been a tradition at the school for at least 20 years, and each year is well attended.
“Our grandparents are usually always in attendance and sometimes we have parents come, as well,” said Lee. “I know the grandparents do love to come and see their precious little granddaughter or grandson singing and performing for them.”
The only change in the tradition, Lee said, is the luncheon used to be held in January to coincide with Catholic Schools Week. It was changed to September to coincide with Grandparents’ Day on Sept. 13.
Preparing the students for the singing portion of the program were kindergarten teacher Sarayln McHale and first-grade teacher Lauren Gedrich.
Gedrich has been involved with the luncheon program for eight years while McHale has been involved for four. Both said the rewards of seeing grandparents enjoy their grandchildren perform remains the same.
“Grandparents have a special place in our lives and it’s nice to see that interaction they have with the kids,” said McHale.
After the children concluded singing, everyone retreated to the lower levels of the school where eighth-grade student volunteers and other faculty members helped serve the food.
Students and their grandparents were treated to fried chicken, mashed potatoes, bread, gravy and chicken nuggets.
For some grandparents, such as Mary Lou Febbo, this was not their first luncheon at the school.
Febbo, of Old Forge, joined her grandson and kindergarten student Angelo Dimauro, 5.
She said this was the third time she has attended the Holy Rosary School Grandparents’ Luncheon and she’s enjoyed herself every time.
“You’re also with a different (grandchild), too,” joked Febbo.
With Dimauro being Febbo’s youngest grandchild, the luncheon marked the last time Febbo will attend the event.
“We’ve really enjoyed coming down here,” she said. “Our oldest grandson is in 10th grade, and our second oldest is in fifth grade and (DiMauro) is our angel.”