Carol and Paul Cramer
Mary Crookston

This Saturday, students from Bishop Garcia Diego high school paid respect to their elders — specifically those located in Casa Dorinda — in a home-made valentine giveaway, spearheaded by the art club president: 10th grader Julia Pilkington.

Oddly enough, Pilkington received the inspiration for this event after Christmas two years ago. With her former school she sang Christmas carols and made Christmas cards for assisted living communities. But Pilkington wanted this Christmas cheer to spread to other holidays — and Valentine’s Day offered the perfect alternative. This is the second such Valentine’s Day event.

Resident Margaret Hurley gets a valentine from Julia Pilkington
Mary Crookston

The art club, according to Leah Sodusta (the art club moderator), organized the event while other art and religion classes pitched in with the valentine creation.

“They really delivered,” said Pilkington. “We were aiming for 320 valentines but we made 529.”

The sheer magnitude of lovingly constructed cards wowed Jennifer Sakurai, director of marketing and admissions at Casa Dorinda: “When Julia called and asked if they could make valentines I assumed it would be a few. But she asked how many residents we had, and I expected her to flinch when I said about 300.”

But with 529 personally constructed valentines, Pilkington hardly flinched. Instead, she mobilized her academic comrades to get the job done.

Ten-year resident of Casa Dorinda, Pat Moylan, said, “It wouldn’t matter what they brought, it’s that they thought of other people. It’s nice to see that at this age when it’s usually all about them.”

Casa Dorinda resident Dr. Perlette Mishon with students Dawn Isherwood and Anjanette Aguliar
Mary Crookston

The valentine distribution morphed into a harmonious social parlor. Students Dawn Isherwood and Anjanette Aguliar played piano and three different generations mingled amidst the cards that brought camaraderie.

Pilkington and resident Margaret Hurley were discussing the cards when Pilkington joked: “And you’re going to be famous! You’ll be in the paper.” Hurley laughingly responded, “I’m already famous.” At 98-years-old Hurley’s humor shows no signs of age.

With a relatively small high school population, the students at Bishop worked hard to produce enough valentines. Eduardo Vega says he made 25 on his own, and his friend Leonardo Godinaz confessed he “didn’t make that many,” but he eagerly delivered them to smiling residents.

Casa Dorinda resident and Disney legend Blaine Gibson celebrated his birthday the day before the event. Upon hearing this, the students quickly orchestrated a happy birthday chorus. “It was yesterday but I’m happy to extend the celebration,” Gibson smiled.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.