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December 24, 2012

Step Back in Time: Dec. 24, 2012

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

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MORRIS — Al Barden, Morris superintendent of schools, looked across the school gym, which was filled with senior citizens waiting for the dinner to begin. Standing near every table were students, greeting their guests, helping them to get settled, chatting with them.

“I don’t know if this is better for the senior citizens or us in the school,” he said. “Watch how the students and senior citizens are talking to each other. They don’t do that on the street. There most elderly people are afraid of youth. That’s not so here.”

For the fifth year the Morris Central School provided a holiday meal for the senior citizens of the area. The first year 89 came. This year 216 places were set up where basketballs are usually bouncing. Another 15 meals were delivered to shut-ins.

“We couldn’t fit everyone who signed up into the cafeteria this year,” said student Carl VanZandt as he directed visitors to the gym.

Other students greeted guests and served the food. Three graduates — Rob and Daphne Joy and Jeff Lobdell returned to help with the project.

Most of the students helped in some way. The 7-12 reading classes made cookies which were taken to the shut-ins. Mike Packard’s shop classes made note holders as gifts. The sixth grade classes of Mrs. Ethel Perkins and Cindy Labash made decorations for the gym and Christmas tree. Miss Mary Lenhardt’s classes made centerpieces of candles and greens.

“I find kids will donate to society if they can. We have so many safeguards now, it’s hard for them. The young ones can’t work. They feel good about being able to do something. Don’t ever tell me kids are not great,” said Shirley Keller.

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