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To whom it may concern —

SPECIAL TRIBUTE

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s television station, IUP-TV, will play host to a special tribute for Indiana Area High School seniors as the school year ends.

IUP-TV will broadcast Indiana Area Senior High School’s graduation tribute on June 5 at 7 p.m. IUP-TV is available in five counties on Comcast cable systems.

IUP-TV is a 24-hour public, educational and government access channel, operated by the department of communications media in conjunction with student crews and production teams.

“Just as the IUP class of 2020 had a less than traditional end to their college career, high school seniors across the country have also missed graduations and other senior year events,” IUP Vice President of Enrollment Management Dr. Patricia McCarthy said. “It’s really impressive how hard people are working to make these students’ graduation a memorable one. I’m thankful that the IUP television station is a resource that we can offer to share this special event with family and friends who are at home.”

The special celebration has been weeks in the planning, according to Indiana Area Senior High School math teacher and senior class adviser Traci Sexton.

“The tribute will be completely pre-recorded to make sure that no technology issues can ruin the event for anyone,” Sexton said. “When we conceived of this we just didn’t know when social-distancing rules would soften, and we wanted to ensure that each senior gets their moment to shine on their final day of school.”

Many elements from the traditional ceremony will be included in the program: the school orchestra will play several selections, speeches from the principal and superintendent will be included, and senior class officers will emcee the event.

The piece has been a labor of love, as students in the senior class have submitted photos of themselves to be edited into the final production, Sexton said.

“We have 202 students graduating,” Sexton said. “The seniors really came through for this project, showing off how they’ve grown through the years, sharing various activities that they are passionate about. Some students had fun with their photos, which had me laughing out loud.”

Over in Homer City, a Be The Light tribute tonight at 8:20 will honor the Homer-Center High School Class of 2020.

Join the community in showing support by turning on porch lights and shining a light in windows.

A parade will lead participating seniors from the firehall through town and around the Wildcat home stadiums of Memorial Field and First Commonwealth Field, which will be lit for 66 minutes to honor the 66 seniors.

If you are able and can practice safe distancing, salute the seniors from your home or along the following parade route, beginning at the fire department grounds: up South Main Street, left onto Harrison Street, right onto Lincoln Street and past Memorial Field, right onto Bryan Street, then left back onto South Main Street and past the school to the baseball stadium.

GOOD NEIGHBORS

While our “Good Neighbors” feature traditionally recognizes those who help others plow driveways and shovel sidewalks during snowstorms for those who are unable, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic we are highlighting those who are helping others in various ways. Liz Hensel, of Indiana, has been making masks for health care professionals, friends and neighbors since the beginning of the pandemic.

SHOP TALK AT SIX

China King, a Chinese takeout restaurant on Philadelphia Street in Indiana that has been closed since mid-March, plans to open Monday after some renovations. … Gas prices in the Indiana area this morning were hovering around $2.35 per gallon, compared with $2.23 statewide and $1.98 nationwide (pennsylvaniagasprices.com). … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, recalls these words from President John F. Kennedy, who was born on this date in 1917: “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

Good evening!

This column is compiled by Gazette staff writer Margaret Weaver. Email items for submission to mweaver@indianagazette.net.