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Ovid-Elsie seniors build memorial for prom, graduation and milestones they missed

Money raised for events they had to cancel instead went to memorial bricks
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 7:00 PM EST
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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The Ovid-Elsie High School graduating class of 2020 is leaving behind the legacy of a challenging year without prom, senior tea or a senior trip.

Students are memorializing the milestone events they missed due to the coronavirus pandemic with a permanent fixture near the high school’s football field. The wall includes bricks designed by students.

“Every student got a form for a brick and got to design their own brick. And then what we did was, there are bricks that kind of tell their legacy, their messages, things about graduation, things about their senior tea,” said Dana Blank, who was the class of 2020 adviser.

The class raised funds during their four years of high school for a senior trip to Chicago and their senior prom. However, both were canceled after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed all K-12 schools in Michigan on March 13 after COVID-19 reached the state.

“Those last couple of months are all celebration, like I’m coming to the end. I’m at the end of the finish line, and it just got yanked out from underneath them,” Blank said.

With no prom or senior trip, graduates decided to spend the money raised for those events on the brick wall instead.

“I just think it’s really cool that we can have something that’s long term, that we can come back and look at and that future generations can look at,” said Ovid-Elsie graduate Danni Lee.

Some bricks just feature student’s names, others feature certain icons like sports or clubs they were involved with, while others were engraved with a special quote. They are the class’ way of personalizing a challenging year, but with a positive spin.

“Five to 10 years from now, I hope that I’m on the job and possibly my own house, and it’d be kind of cool to come back with my friends and look on this and see it’s really been that long,” Lee said.

The class of 2021 at Ovid-Elsie still hopes to have a senior prom and senior trip, but those will depend on how the coronavirus pandemic plays out over the next few months.

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