Grateful Londonderry High School teens invite veterans to breakfastBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent October 22. 2013 10:09PM
LONDONDERRY — A group of community-minded high school students are looking forward to serving those who served.
On Nov. 9, Londonderry High School’s Pay It Forward Club will host a free breakfast for area veterans.
With the breakfast to take place immediately before the town’s Veterans Day parade, the teens are hoping the event will become another annual tradition.
Club adviser Katie Sullivan said members held a similar event two years ago but were unable to do so last year due to lack of funding.
Around 40 veterans and their families attended the 2011 breakfast.
“One of my fondest memories is seeing my kids chatting with World War II veterans and hearing their stories,” Sullivan said. “You just can’t put a price on those moments.”
This year, both the Town Council and School Board agreed to sponsor another veterans breakfast.
New Hampshire First Bank, one of the club’s longtime sponsors, will also be lending a hand with the event, while the family of former club member Jackie Geisler also donated money.
For many of the 30 or so club members, particularly those with family members who have served in the military, support for veterans is a cause that is near and dear.
Senior Chantal Reid said her grandfather, who recently died at age 97, was one of three triplets who served during World War II.
Fellow senior Eric Kinnison’s grandfather also served during World War II as a military policeman, while sophomore Colby Austin, senior Nick Flanders and junior Marissa Roger all have loved ones who served in the Navy.
“These are veterans who’ve all done so much for us and they only get one day to be recognized,” Flanders said. “So it’s really important for us to try and make it more special.”
Sullivan said she and the teens have been working closely with the local American Legion to spread word of the upcoming breakfast. Immediately following the meal, club members plan on escorting the veterans to the parade’s starting point, with golf carts available for those who have difficulty walking.
The school cafeteria staff happily agreed to volunteer that morning and will be preparing eggs, french toast and other breakfast delicacies.
Club members also will be baking muffins and tea breads to share with their guests.The veterans breakfast will take place Nov. 9 from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Londonderry High School cafeteria. Breakfast is free to all veterans, and each veteran may bring one guest. Additional guests are welcome for a small donation.