A CHEER … to the seniors at Canandaigua Academy who launched a couple of events this week that may became annual traditions. First, the class celebrated its year together with a picnic at Kershaw Park where they watched the sun set on their high school years, after beginning their final year together in September watching the sun rise. Then on Monday, their last day of classes, about 100 seniors in caps and gowns visited the primary-elementary school for a special parade through the halls, delighting their younger counterparts while giving them an inspirational glimpse in what their futures hold. That's class.
A CHEER ... to Bloomfield High School's International Baccalaureate students, who will travel to the Dominican Republic later this year to help improve living conditions for Haitian refugees who work in the sugar cane. They will be laying down floors in the meager living quarters and building latrines to improve sanitation. Last year, a group of IB students went to Cuba to plant mangrove seeds along a river to help prevent erosion. Such service projects are a required part of the IB CAS program — CAS stands for "creativity, activity and service" — though it's clear the students are doing this for more reasons than a requirement. In English teacher Keith Roll's words, "there is a hunger in Bloomfield to go out and help people."
A CHEER ... to retired Canandaigua Veterans Affairs dentist Patrick Bastow, author of the recently released “My Heroes and Their Stories of Survival." Bastow developed many friendships over the years with his patients and, with their blessing, recorded a number of their war stories for the book. The paperback pays tribute to the service of these veterans Bastow calls his heroes. Here's to the author and the veterans whose service helped secure our freedoms.
A CHEER ... to organizers of the Rose Walk at and around Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, which has raised more than $250,000 for cardiac rehabilitation at Thompson Health over 20 years. The 21st Rose Walk starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine, with 1- or 2-mile walking routes. Registration and information are available at 585-396-6253 or bit.ly/2szx6uh.
A CHEER ... to Phelps Library and its director, Leah Hamilton, for a commitment to education in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. The library and its STEAM Lab Makerspace provides opportunities for hands-on learning in those fields (plus art, the A in STEAM) through stations, programs and camps for students in K-12 grades; on site it has opportunities to explore 3-D printing, soldering, woodworking, circuitry, robotics and more. Finger Lakes STEM Hub recently recognized the efforts with the 2017 Family and Community STEM Innovation Award.
A CHEER ... to all of the local sites that are in place to help hungry kids over the summer. During the school year, kids are able to pick out their nutritious breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria at a free or reduced price. But what happens over the summer when children are not in school? Thanks to the No Kid Hungry network program, children still can get free meals at a central site, such as a school or community center. For more information, text FOOD to 877-877 to find a site nearest you or call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or visit ny.nokidhungry.org.
A CHEER … to the tables and umbrellas to keep out the sun (OK, mostly the rain of late!) in Commons Park in downtown Canandaigua. The inviting outdoor setting encourages visitors and residents alike to sit for a spell and enjoy the people and sights of the city.
A CHEER … to the folks at Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures, for doing the right thing. The business today is scheduled to treat the students who were recognized with Ontario County Do the Right Thing awards. The program recognizes students who go and above in doing, as the names suggests, the right thing. This is a neat and memorable way for the award recipients to have their actions rewarded as well as provide inspirations for others to also do good deeds.