Joy Before Heartbreak: How High Schoolers And Seniors Celebrated Valentine's Day Together

Feb 27, 2018

Before the chaos unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two weeks ago, residents at Covenant Village Senior Living Center got a special Valentine’s Day performance from Fort Lauderdale’s Calvary Christian Academy school. 

As February draws to a close, we still wanted to bring you this story of one Broward community’s volunteering, hope and love.

This is the second year in a row that jazz band and choir students from the academy made the drive across Broward Boulevard to volunteer and perform classic love songs to the residents on Valentine’s Day.

The set-list included songs like, ‘L-O-V-E’ originally by Nat King Cole and ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ originally by Frank Sinatra. 

Residents like Helen Poole and her husband Harold were in the audience. The couple recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

“We met the first day of college. He was on one side of the room and I walked in the other door and I looked over and said, ‘I just saw the man I’m going to marry,’ ” she said. 

The Pooles met in 1946. Harold said he can still remember what Helen had on that day.

“She was wearing a pink, corduroy dress,” Harold laughed.

“He liked the dress very much,” Helen chimed in

The Pooles love music, and they danced to nearly every song the students performed.

Choir students, like highschooler Megan Brown, said seeing the Pooles dance, along with the nearly 100 other residents at the performance, inspired her.

“That makes me long for when I get older, to have that relationship with someone,” Brown said.

Michael Johntorok pulled some of the Covenant Village residents out on the dance floor. He said, he enjoyed being able to bring some 1940s and ‘50s inspired joy with music. 

“Maybe we will sit in these chair some day and we’ll see other kids, and then we’ll be like, ‘I used to do that. I used to be the one playing and dancing and whatnot' ,” Johntorok said. “Some of them don’t like the music of today, and to hear music of when they were kids - that’s always enjoyable to see.”

The students didn’t leave the community center without passing out Valentine cards that Calvary Christian Academy’s elementary students made. The cards, colored with paper hearts and flowers, said, "We love you."