The Pleasant Township VFD honored its 2021 graduates with a parade on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Photos by Brian Hagberg.

Pleasant Twp VFD Honors Graduates

June 3, 2021

PLEASANT TWP, Pa. – The COVID-19 pandemic forced communities to make changes to the way they honored the rites of passage for their youth, especially for events such as proms and graduations.

Some of those changes are now becoming traditions themselves and such was the case in Pleasant Township Wednesday evening.

The Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Department held its 2nd Annual Graduates Parade through the township. Volunteers drove several vehicles from the station to the homes of many of the township’s 12 graduating seniors for a salute and each was presented a card and small gift from the VFD.

“Last year we did it for the first time,” Pleasant VFD Presiden Kathy Johnson said. “It went over so well. The students were very appreciative. Their parents were very appreciative that we took time out of our schedule to recognize their seniors in such a difficult year for them. So, because of the positive effect that it had on the community, we decided to do it again this year.”

Pleasant Township’s 2021 Graduates include: Rozlin Dibble, Carter Swartz, Madalyn Rodgers, Erika Stevenson, Hanna Hoffman, Hannah Shattuck, Aidan Flannery, Kristofer Blankenberg, Madison Oleny, Michael Zurcher, Angelina Simons, Devyn Pollock. Johnson said any omissions are unintentional as they utilized word of mouth and the graduate yard signs to find this year’s class.

Many community members stepped out of their homes along the parade route to wave at the emergency vehicles and celebrate the graduating seniors.

“I think that no matter what the age of a person is, I think they get excited to see fire trucks,” Johnson said. “I think that’s the biggest what the takeaway is, it doesn’t matter what your age is, you still get excited about fire trucks.”

The parade wasn’t able to stop at every home due to conflicting schedules but was able to honor seven of the 12 graduates in person.

“Because of work schedule or whatever we aren’t able to make a personal stop at (all) their homes, but I do have a graduation card to send to them in the mail,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she hopes the parade and card will help graduates and their families see the value in volunteerism.

“I hope that it might inspire them to volunteer in whatever capacity that they feel that they’re inclined to participate in,” she said. “Whether it’s a volunteer fire department or some other sort of charitable organization where they could make a difference in their community.”

And Johnson’s message to the class of 2021?

“My message would be to follow your dreams and make your dreams come true and help out in your community, as best you as you possibly can, in whatever you do in the future,” Johnson said.

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