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Adopt a senior program making best of tough situation

The restrictions and changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic haven’t been easy for anyone.

But we feel for high school seniors who had so much to look forward to as the winter turned to spring. Most of those milestones appear as though they may not take place, things like prom, commencement and spring sports season.

One mom had a fabulous idea to do something special for these young people and started a Facebook group that is now called “Adopt a 2020 Marquette County Senior.”

Marquette resident Heather Holmstrom is that parent. She told Journal Staff Writer Christie Mastric for a story this week: “I can’t say for certain when I started really feeling sorry for the senior class. I remember when school was originally canceled for only two weeks, then it extended another few weeks.”

Then things started to be canceled, one after another: a dance, her daughter’s state figure skating finals competition, prom, graduation.

“All canceled,” she said. “It was mounting sorrow and wishing there was a way to do something. And there just wasn’t. Then the straw that broke the camel’s back: My husband and I made the decision to cancel our son’s graduation party. I was heartbroken for him, for all the seniors. You go to school for 13 years, you dream of throwing your cap at your graduation ceremony. You look forward to your party. It’s a rite of passage.”

Holmstrom was reading through Facebook and saw posts about groups being formed to help high school seniors through this difficult time.

“I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ I didn’t know if I would have any success, but I thought it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try,” Holmstrom said. “I started with ‘Adopt a 2020 MSHS Senior.’ My son is an MSHS senior, so it was logical that was the school I wanted to target.”

She said that within 24 hours, she knew the group was going to be a success. And it was expanded to include all Marquette County schools.

With more than 1,300 members as of Thursday, the group has sparked interest from a wide range of people. Some seniors have been adopted multiple times, as the adoption process has no limit.

People who join the group can either create a post for a senior who can be adopted or look for a senior to adopt. Search for Adopt a 2020 Marquette County Senior on Facebook.

“My goal is to reach every senior in Marquette County. My second goal is to have everyone shop local for their senior’s gift. Not only can we support Marquette County seniors, but also Marquette County businesses,” Holmstrom said.

We applaud Holmstrom and all those who are supporting this very special effort to take some of the sting away from the loss of senior-year milestones for a great group of young people.

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