By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The image of 170 students parading in their Halloween costumes from the Lincoln Street School to Whitney Place Assisted Living Campus was colorful and festive. But the image of the senior residents greeting their arrival was priceless.
“During one of our morning meetings, Executive Director Ed Murphy suggested inviting the students from the school for trick-or-treating here at the campus,” explained Whitney Place’s Assistant Activity Director Donna Setzco. “It had been an event in the past that was very well received.
Students from grades three, four and five were invited to parade through the facility. The fifth-graders also visited with those living next door at the Beaumont as well. Linda Flanagan, who works in the main office of the school, helped to coordinate the students’ arrival.
“This is something we look forward to each year. It’s great when we can get our residents out into the community. It’s always our effort to bring the community in,” said Jim Priest, community relations director.
As much as the residents enjoyed the students’ visit, the students’ enjoyed showing off their costumes. These included dragons, witches and animals – even a mouse caught in a trap.
“Although I have only been here since last month, I understand that this year’s Halloween parade is the first year of this magnitude,” Setzco said. “The residents respond so well to children and we make great efforts to bring the community in. Especially during the holidays, it’s the perfect time to do it.”
Residents volunteered to put together goody bags for each of the students. Many also got into the Halloween spirit with costumes of their own. One resident, June French, dressed up as a black cat.
“I love having the children come and visit for any occasion,” she said. “I helped assemble the gift bags and even helped to decorate the rooms here. I love Halloween because it’s a fun time.”
“It’s events like this that really make an impact on everyone that is involved,” Setzco said. “The interaction brings so much joy and happiness to our residents. The smiles linger long after the visitors leave.”