All dressed up for one of the most exciting nights of their lives, four Golden Secondary School students had one stop to make before heading to their 2012 prom. For three months, Kailyn Trask, Taylor McKeeman, Zach McClean, Jenness McGrath (unable to attend the pre-prom meeting), and Kirsten Allkins have been volunteering their time at Abbeyfield House.
“It started out as Leadership project (from Leadership class), but that only went for a short time-span. And then we decided that we were having so much fun with it that we continued with it,” said Allkins.
The Grade 12 students have been coming in every Wednesday to spend time with the residents of Abbeyfield.
“Sometimes we play games, we read stories, we planted a pot of flowers. We went on walks one day, so we did a variety of different things with them,” said Allkins.
This is the first year that the high school has done a program like this, and everyone at Abbeyfield was grateful for the gesture.
“These guys look forward to them coming every Wednesday, and they ask them questions about where they’re going and what they’re doing. And the kids have asked them questions about their lives,” said Stephanie Sollows, who works at Abbeyfield.
“It’s been very special. And we’re very lucky and appreciative that they could take time out of their grad to come tonight.”
Kailyn Trask decided to organize the outing when she learned that many of the residents wanted to see them all dressed up.
“Some of the residents were going to try to go to prom to see them, but it wasn’t very convenient with rides and mobility. So they suggested that they would get dressed up a little early and show up here,” said Sollows. “They’ve been waiting all week for them to come tonight.”
It was all smiles in the dining area as the boys showed up in their tuxes, and the girls walked in wearing their bright pink and green gowns. They stayed and chatted for a bit, and before rushing off for their grad photos at the high school, the kids made sure to visit a certain resident who couldn’t leave her room.
“They’re really very considerate, and just wonderful,” said Sollows.
Even though it was somewhat of a pilot project this year, Sollows and the residents are hoping GSS will continue with it next year.
“Because these kids were so great, we would like kids to come back next year,” she said.