Sharing friendship

Olivia Martin and Erin Houlihan (at far right) share their thoughts on friendship, spelled out by their third grade classmates.

BY STACI WILSON

For the past 25 years, Blue Ridge Elementary has united during the Christmas holiday in an effort to help less fortunate families in the school community.

For weeks, elementary classes collect non-perishable food items and the high school’s Pride Club purchases presents for families. The school-wide endeavor culminates with the annual Sharing Parade.

“Friendship” was the theme of this year’s celebration. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade were selected to share their poems and essays on what being a good friend meant to them.

The students offered advice on being a friend – from helping with homework to playing with each other.

Some also spoke about helping others as an act of friendship.

Blue Ridge fourth grader Avy Mudge drops off her Sharing Parade donations on the stage.

Fifth grader Hunter Renwick said, “The Sharing Parade would be nothing without friendship, so be there for someone.”

Kathy Roe, a teacher who helps coordinate the event, said it was a “time to share with others and reflect on our own good fortune.”

Tom Chamberlain and Alan Wilmarth were invited to speak to the group about friendship.

The longtime friends are also co-founders of CAFE, the group that coordinates the annual sixth grade trip to Washington, D.C.

Wilmarth said, “When you live trying to be a friend you can’t go wrong.”

Chamberlain told the students to “Be kind to one another during the holiday season and be a friend. Be a friend every day.”

Devon Colwell, fifth grade, said, “The feeling of having a great friend is better than the feeling you get Christmas morning.”

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