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Seniors Citizens breakfast a Piedmont High 28-year tradition

Piedmont High Jade Montgomery, 16, a junior, serves breakfast to a table of senior citizens during Wednesday’s 28th annual Piedmont High School Interact Club Senior Citizen Breakfast.

Piedmont High School continues a 28-year tradition of giving back to the community through its annual Senior Citizen’s Breakfast that feeds more than 200 seniors each year.
The breakfast, sponsored by the school’s Interact Club, was held Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009, in the school gymnasium, and continued in the auditorium with a play and music.
Piedmont High principal Jonathan Bowers said the breakfast gives his school an opportunity to give back to the community.
“This is a community that has been so giving to us and so involved and supportive of Piedmont High School. It’s an opportunity for us to welcome them back to a school that many of them attended, many of their children attended, and in this season of giving, to show them how much we appreciate everything they’ve done to help make us the school that we are today.”
About 70 students from the Interact Club and National Honor Society, donned elves costumes for the event.
“I was an elf last year, too,” said Piedmont High senior Caris Rogers. “I love doing this. I enjoy seeing members of our community come back to the school. We get to have the Christmas spirit with everyone, not just our families.”
The breakfast is a tradition that probably will continue for many years to come. “It’s a tradition that people look forward to every year,” Rogers said. “It’s just something that you have to do. You can’t stop it or it just won’t feel like Christmas any more.”
The breakfast is a tradition that students also look forward to. “A lot of students want to join the Interact Club so they can participate in the breakfast,” said  Piedmont school counselor and Interact sponsor Leslie Perruquet, who coordinated the event.
Perruquet remembers as a student being one of the servers at the breakfast. “I was a student here in the 80s and I participated in the Interact Seniors Breakfast as a server,” she said. “It’s a lot different for me now. I see the whole picture, how all the clubs, the teachers, and everyone pitches in. I see the community effort that goes into making this a success.”
The 70-member Interact club has led the breakfast effort since the early 1980s. Other school clubs and organizations that help in the effort include the National Art Honor Society, Piedmont Jr. ROTC, Piedmont’s occupational classes, the school’s theater department, and its Women’s Ensemble.
“It really was a group effort,” Perruquet said. “It wasn’t just the Interact Club, it was the entire campus helping in some capacity, whether they moved chairs, or covered tables, did decorations, it was a student-led effort.”   
The breakfast started as a service project with Rotary in the early 1980s, a way to give back to the community, said Piedmont High assistant principal Dr. Ann Walters.
Colene and Bruce Belk have been coming for years. “Our children and our grandchildren graduated from here, so we’ve been coming about as long a they’ve had it,” Colene Belk said.
“We always came when the children and grandchildren were here, but we thought we would come back this year even though we no longer have grandchildren here. It’s wonderful,” Colene Belk added. “We enjoy seeing the young people. And I think it’s great for the senior citizens that they do this every year. It’s good for the seniors to be able to get out, do something like this and enjoy it.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 23, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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