Today we’re talking to Hugh Trumbull, President of the Meadowood Residents Association, about a very special tradition at our community. Going back in Meadowood history, the Meadowood Residents Association has always recognized the graduating high school seniors who work in Dining Services at Meadowood with a gift, according to Hugh.
Historically, the residents provided $1,000 in college scholarships to each graduating senior,” Hugh explains. “In recent years, they’ve trended away from that, because they realized that not every graduating senior will go to college, and some may not go right away. We felt it would be better to just give each senior a monetary gift. We have a fundraiser in the spring that funds cash gifts to the graduating seniors, as well as the 60-odd activities sponsored by the Meadowood Residents Association.”
According to Hugh, the amount of the gift varies depending on the length of service of the senior, as well as the amount raised by the spring financial campaign that year.
A Special Year
This year, after the residents and graduating seniors weathered the COVID-19 pandemic together, the recognition and the relationships are both extra special.
“This year we had 16 graduating seniors,” Hugh says. “Some very special team members have been with us through the COVID period — these kids really stuck with us. A lot of them have been here for quite a long time and during a difficult time.”
An Unusual Story
“It was really kind of fun this year, because the longest-serving high school senior, Fallon Wyatt, has an interesting story,” explains Hugh. “Fallon is the daughter of Debbie Wyatt, a much-beloved Resident Care nurse here at Meadowood. Debbie has 10 children, and Fallon is the ninth of them to work here in the same capacity, serving in our dining room during her high school years.”
“Fallon had been here for 49 months — over four years, going all the way back to 2017 when she was a freshman in high school,” says Hugh. “Like the rest of the students who work here, Fallon is a super person.”
To mark Fallon’s long tenure, the Meadowood Residents Association did something special, Hugh explains. “The day we honored the graduating seniors, we brought the mother and daughter onto one of our Meadowood TV programs,” he says. “Fallon was honored as the longest-serving high school graduate — and Debbie received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It’s just a family that has contributed a lot to our community.”
“And then that night of the same day, we got together after the dinner hour with the entire group of graduating seniors,” Hugh continues, “and they received their checks and enjoyed a pizza party with a big cake.”
The celebration was modified from the usual sit-down dinner with seniors and their parents, due to current conditions. However, the event was still very festive and joyful, according to Hugh. “They’re a wonderful bunch of kids,” he says. “The residents just love them.”
“During COVID, depending on their position in Dining Services, many of the students walked all over the campus delivering meals to our doors,” he explains. “On hot summer days and cold winter days, in all weather conditions, the kids were there bringing the meals. They really stuck with us during the pandemic. That was part of honoring them this year — we wanted to recognize them for everything they’ve done for us.”
“What was really nice at the celebration, after we had all masked up for such a long time, as long as residents and employees had had their vaccines, we could all come from behind our masks and see one another’s faces again,” Hugh says.
Did the graduating seniors enjoy the celebration? “Oh, I think so,” says Hugh. “There were big smiles. Yes.”