A SPECIAL YEAR: Frankfort parents assemble gifts for grads

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort parents assembled recently at the home of Melissa Clark to put together gift baskets they are providing for each of Frankfort's graduating seniors.

SHORT GAP — A group of parents of Frankfort’s graduating seniors decided that with the life-changing impact COVID-19 has had on this year’s graduating class, something special was in order for their special day.

That something special comes in the form of a gift basket that’s been prepared for each; assembled lovingly by a group of moms.

Melissa Clark, mother of Frankfort senior Jake Clark, and a few others helped spearhead the effort, going the extra mile to acknowledge what the group has endured.

“So basically, a bunch of us parents were thinking, what can we do, it’s been a bad end to junior year and the senior year has been hit and miss. We wanted to do something for the entire senior class. We came up with the idea of getting gift baskets, getting sponsorship for the baskets, and filling them with goodies of all sorts,” Clark explained.

As has been the case, when the call goes out for donations and help into the community, the community responds in big ways.

“All kinds of people have contributed to the cause. It’s been families; a lot of families donated. A lot of corporations have donated, including Potomac Valley Hospital of WVU, Belt Paving, Final Touch. We got the baskets from Initials Inc., and I donated my commission back. It’s been a true hodgepodge of people.”

So, what’s in the baskets?

According to Clark, “Each basket is personalized with their name. Inside the basket is a variety of 2021 Senior-type stuff. It’s sort of a summer, beach, lake theme, so there are beach towels, a tee shirt that Final Touch donated, sunscreen, beach balls, snacks. FNB Bank was a major sponsor and gave us these insulated cups for it. There are all kinds of stuff in them, to include food and drinks and beach-type items.”

It was a big task, but one the group was willing to take on in an effort to show the graduates they deserved something extra special. There was work involved, first asking for donations, gathering donations, and then of course, assembling the baskets.

“I asked everybody to meet at my house on Sunday at 6:00 to help put the baskets together. There are 122 baskets, because of course we included Sarah Lafferty that passed away. We made a special one for her mom. We got them all together, we pulled everything out of the boxes, assembled them, and wrapped them up nice and neat with a cellophane wrapper and a bow.

The seniors were to receive their baskets at graduation practice Thursday.

“As you know, several of our seniors are quarantined, so we will be delivering some or they will be available to be picked up at my house.” Clark said

This group of seniors, last year’s seniors, really everybody, has been through so much with the pandemic. But just like the school year has wrapped up for these graduating seniors, so too is the worst of the pandemic, we hope. This group of parents worked together to offer a token of appreciation and gratitude for the gracious way the kids have handled this difficult situation at such an important time in their lives.