We know that those who live in Mattapoisett love Mattapoisett, so what better way to show Mattapoisett you love it than to send it a Valentine?
That’s precisely what the fifth-graders at Old Hammondtown School did on February 14 to show their appreciation for the town and those who manage it, serve it, and protect it.
About 20 town hall employees and first responders arrived at the Old Hammondtown cafetorium just after noontime to be greeted by fifth-grade teachers, students, and Assistant Principal Kevin Tavares who stood beside a long table toppling with gift bags and baskets brimming with red and pink handmade cards, sweets, and shiny heart-shaped balloons.
One by one, each department was called forth. The Mattapoisett Police, selectmen’s office, school committee, treasurer’s office, town clerk, highway department, you name it – they were all there, subjects of the ‘sweet’ sentiments of the students at Old Hamm.
Fifth-grade teachers Stacey Barrows, Rachel Arruda, Amy Casi, and Kristen Sunde came up with the idea as a team and discussed it with the students who were enthusiastic participants that morning, cutting out cards and decorating them for their guests.
“We were looking for the chance to recognize all the ways these people make our community and our town special,” said Casi.
Tavares echoed that very sentiment as he introduced the guests.
“Today we are here to celebrate all the people that keep us safe and make this a special place,” said Tavares.
For Police Chief Mary Lyons, it was the perfect way for the children of Mattapoisett to see all the town employees together.
“And a great opportunity for possible future employment!” Chief Lyons added.
Town Administrator Michael Gagne said all the town hall employees were excited to receive the invitation.
“Everyone thought, ‘That is just so nice that they’re going to recognize the town employees,’” said Gagne. “Everybody was just really excited to come over.”
Parent volunteer Monika Whalley, who assisted the students in making the gifts that morning, said, “We feel so lucky to be here and we always have so much support from the town.”
By Jean Perry