A new version of Senior Skip Day

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 2:46 PM CDT
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Thursday wasn't the traditional "Senior Skip Day" the Denmark Class of 2020 ever envisioned.

But it sure turned out to be tasty one, full of community support.

Outside Blossoms in Denmark, a fire truck escort led seniors in their cars to their destination: a drive-through Senior Skip Day.

"My son is a senior this year, and we were really sad about all the things he was missing out on, and I'm an alumni from Denmark and we know how great senior year is, so we thought what could we do to make it a little more fun, and I thought almost every business owner in town is alumni, let's get together, do a senior skip day because that was a tradition back in our day, let's make it fun for the kids," says Tammy Smits-Sommer, owner of Blossoms.

More than a dozen Denmark businesses banded together to show the senior class love and support by providing a hot lunch, drinks and gift cards.

"Honestly, it takes a village to raise all these kids, and that's basically what Denmark is. We all care about our kids a lot," says Smits-Sommer.

"That's why I love being a part of this community. I think it's part of the small town. They come together, and whether it's good things or bad things, they come together," adds Julie Lemmens, a member of the Denmark School Board.

For many of the seniors it's the first time they've seen each other since before spring break in early March.

Thursday's lunch meant a lot to them, but also served as a bittersweet reminder of a monumental time in their lives drastically altered.

"I think it's really nice because we missed out on a lot of the senior activities. We didn't get to spend too much time with our classmates this year," says Denmark senior Will Wallerius.

"It was kind of cool at first because we're like, oh, we don't have to go back, but then realizing that everything else is closed, I'd love to go back to school for a least one more week to see all my friends," says Denmark senior Gabe Wertel.

The lunch, though, provided a lot of smiles.

"I hope the kids really get that their community is there for them, that we really care about the youth of our community," says Smits-Sommer.

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