SOUTHWICK – The Class of 2020 will be remembered as the class that was interrupted more than halfway through the year. Seniors missed out on their prom, senior days and other traditions. The Class of 2021 knew from day one it would be a different senior experience for them, but that knowledge did not make it any easier.
Amy Lafleur is a self-proclaimed “proud parent of a Southwick Senior” who wanted to do something special for the class and started a gofundme. She hopes to raise $3,000 to gift each of the 101 seniors a personalized SRS sweatshirt to try to raise their spirits and show them that they are not forgotten.
The gofundme page is titled Southwick Regional School Senior Surprise and had raised $825 by Friday, just one day after the page went live. On the page, Lafleur wrote “Our seniors have persevered and met the challenges of school during this strange time. There have been so many missed milestones and traditions for them and we’d like to bring some joy and show our pride by giving each of the 101 students a gift. Our goal is to raise enough funds to give them each a personalized hoodie during Senior Week to commemorate their time at SRS.”
Lafleur said the students could use a surprise as they navigate the end of the year.
“My daughter is handling it with a mix of determination and disappointment,” said Lafleur. “She is focused on doing well for the last semester and is looking forward to college. I think the senior class has mostly given up hope of a good senior year.”
Lafelur said morale among students is low.
“In Southwick, we had a choice of hybrid or remote, most seniors chose remote. They are not in the building and it’s hard to celebrate together as a group when you aren’t together,” she said.
What traditions may take place is up in the air.
“I don’t know what, if any, senior traditions they may be allowed to have,” she said. “My daughter’s dress from last year’s cancelled prom is still hanging up in a garment bag. The kids have a group chat and there are ideas floating around but I don’t know what they will be allowed to do.”
Lafleur said she hopes the hoodies will bring smiles to the seniors.
“I started the gofundme just to bring them some joy and recognition,” she said. “These kids have done their entire senior year while sitting at laptops apart from their peers. There is nothing that will make up for that, but a nice, comfy hoodie is a small joy that we can work together to give them.”