LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lancaster High School’s Class of 2020 is being recognized in a big way! Take a walk through Westwood Park or Walden Pond Park and you’ll see large, wooden numbers painted red and black, a 2020 tribute.
Anyone is welcome to commemorate their senior year, by taking a photo with the sign. “Being able to get pictures with our friends outside is really nice because we can still be safe and have memories to capture,” said Lancaster senior, Grace Mysiak.
It hasn’t been easy for her and her fellow classmates, missing out on many end of the year traditions. “Everyone was looking forward to prom and graduation and that’s kind of a let down to all of us.” said Lancaster senior, Riley O’Neill.
Both students say it feels good to be thought of. “It’s nice that the community is stepping up during this time,” said Mysiak. “It shows they support us.”
The idea to put up the signs came from Erie County Legislator Frank Todaro, who had seen the same thing done for Alden seniors. “We had to so something,” he said. “It was an amazing feeling to have people help us in any which way they can.”
“I would like to thank Town of Lancaster Supervisor Ron Ruffino for allowing us to use the parks, Parks Crew Chief Michelle Barbaro, the Department of Public Works, Dawn Gaczewski of Adworks, resident Josh Hagner for his carpentry skills, and Home Depot for donating the materials,” said Todaro.
Everyone involved saying they were happy to give back to the class of 2020 celebrate. And although the impacts of covid-19 have made for a non traditional senior year, many have chosen to find the silver lining.
“What happened to us is going to make us bonded to 2020 seniors around the world,” said Mysiak. “I think that it’s just super special that even though it’s unconventional, we still have something to celebrate us. “
Signs are placed in Westwood Park and Walden Pond Park for students and parents to take photos in front of during regular park hours.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.