BIDDEFORD/SACO — On May 1, Biddeford Superintendent Jeremy Ray and Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene Menard released a video announcing a United Senior Recognition Project along with a joint Senior Night honoring all Class of 2020 Seniors in Biddeford and Saco. The Candles UNITE for Seniors entails lighting of candle-sized light bulbs in the school colors each night through what would have been graduation weekend and joining in on a Senior Night Celebration on Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m.

“The physical closure of our schools has been difficult for everyone — especially our seniors — who have been looking forward to end-of-the-year graduation events,” said Headmaster Rene Menard of Thornton Academy. “We’re working hard to find creative ways to make those graduation events special despite the challenges we are all facing to keep our communities safe.”

The schools have each ordered 1,500 candle-sized bulbs in their school colors and will distribute them in the coming weeks for a suggested donation of $5 each and also have a limited quantity of electric window holders available for $4 each as the bulbs will not work in battery-operated holders. All funds raised will be split equally between the two towns to help feed families in their communities.

Biddeford Superintendent Jeremy Ray said, “The youth in our two communities have gone to daycares together, attended arts and music events, Boy and Girl Scout events, athletic travel teams, etc. We believe strongly that a community is not defined by a river that separates our two towns and we should come together to honor our seniors as a whole. We encourage families to consider getting a bulb for seniors in both towns.”

For Senior Night on Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m., community members are invited to go outside in both towns and make as much noise as possible for 30 seconds — bang on pots and pans, clap, honk car horns, etc. to recognize all seniors. Following this recognition, Biddeford High School will hold their Candlelight Ceremony and Thornton Academy will hold their Bachelorette Awards Ceremony virtually at 7 p.m.

Pick-up dates for the candle-sized light bulbs have been set for May 12 from 9 to 11 a.m., May 13 from 4 to 6 p.m., May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and May 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Thornton Academy and Waterhouse Field. Cash, check and Venmo will
be accepted. For more information, please contact the Director of Development at each school: Karen Chasse at
[email protected] or Haley Thompson at [email protected]

Families are encouraged to share their photos on social media with the hashtag #SeniorsUnite2020

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