Facebook Group Helps Tyrone Community ‘Adopt’ the Class of 2020

The Facebook group is also planning an in-person celebration at Reservoir Park on Saturday, May 30 from 4-6 pm


Screenshot from TAHS Adopt a Senior Facebook Page

TAHS alumni and members of the Tyrone community can “adopt” a senior from the Class of 2020 by joining this local Facebook page.

Tyrone alumni and members of the community have come together to support the TAHS Class of 2020  by “adopting” seniors on Facebook and sending them cards, snacks, and gifts to celebrate their graduation. 

While the “Adopt a Senior” movement is happening throughout the country, Tyrone’s Facebook group was started on May 7 by 1986 TAHS alum Terri Howell. She decided to start the page after being invited to a friend’s Facebook page for another school. Howell is being assisted by two other 1986 graduates, Cheryl Morrissey and Dawn Jannell Grager.

By sending them gifts, it lets them know that as a community, we are thinking of them, and they will always have our support”

— Jennifer Wood

“We think it is important to have a connection in our hometowns. When a disaster hits it is important to have a community ready to step up for each other,” said Howell.

As of May 29th the group has 400 members and 70 Tyrone seniors have been posted to the page. All the seniors posted so far have been adopted, some more than once. 

To join the group to post a senior’s name and/or to adopt a senior, click here.

The group’s page is filled with pictures of Tyrone seniors with attached biographies describing their interests, extra-curricular activities, and accomplishments. From there community members and alumni can message the owner of the post and get information about the senior to send personalized gifts, becoming a sort of sponsor for that senior. 

“People were so willing to adopt seniors they didn’t even know and seeing the smiles on the faces of those that got their gifts is absolutely amazing,” said Howell, “We think it shows the seniors that through thick and thin we have their backs and maybe teach them to pay it forward.”

Callie Maceno with her basket of gifts
TAHS senior Callie Maceno showing her appreciation for the gifts sent by the Hosko family. (From the TAHS Adopt a Senior Facebook Page)

The seniors who have participated have been very grateful for the kindness of others.

“I was adopted by several people and I’m so grateful for all of them. I loved seeing the community come together for the seniors and show us overwhelming support in this hard time,” said Tyrone senior Lauren Ross.

Some seniors were even adopted by other students, teachers, or family friends. 

“It’s really nice that people in the Tyrone community want to celebrate seniors’ achievements in this way. It’s unique because we’ve never experienced anything like this,” said senior Brent McNeel, who was adopted by his 12th grade English teacher Kathy Beigle.

For the sponsors it is an opportunity for them to give back to the community and help brighten a senior’s day. 

“These kids might never experience the moments they’ve been looking forward to for so long,” said sponsor Jennifer Wood. “These are memories you can’t get back and that every other graduating class got to experience. By sending them gifts it lets them know that as a community, we are thinking of them, and they will always have our support.” Wood adopted Tyrone senior Issac Dry.

The group has been so successful that with the relaxation of some social distancing guidelines, she has also planned an in-person event for Saturday, May 30 at Reservoir Park, Pavilion A, just past basketball court from 4pm to 6pm.

Howell plans to award special prize bags to the seniors at the event. She has received donations or discounted items from various local businesses and or individuals, including Exposed Grafix Screen Printing and EmbroideryMelanie Pollock of Playfulscraps , Dina Proper , Jeano’s Pizzeria, Tyrone Burger King, Kristin Ann Mckinley Barrett from Gardner’s Candy, Jamie Lee Millward, and Sheldon Port from the Tyrone Dominos.

We think it is important to have a connection in our hometowns. When a disaster hits it is important to have a community ready to step up for each other.”

— Terri Howell

Seniors who won prizes were posted on the Facebook page.  The list of winners can be seen here (note: the link will only be visible to members of the group)

At the event, there will also be a few additional items those seniors can pick from while they last.

Shovey Photography will take photos of the seniors, family and friends. Selfie props for seniors to take pictures with other friends will also be available.

For many, the Adopt a Senior page is another example of the strength and generosity of  the Tyrone community and alumni during difficult times. 

“With Covid-19 keeping people from socializing, we are missing out on the old ‘normal’. This allows a new type of normalcy back in our lives. We may not reside there now, but Tyrone is still our home,” said Howell.