GENEVA – Where’s Mr. Rogers?
That would be Tom Rogers, the principal of Geneva High School.
He is going to be everywhere in Geneva’s downtown this week, in a "Where’s Mr. Rogers?" event, a local take-off of the 1980s British puzzle books “Where’s Waldo?”
"It's a fun activity that I was happy to put my name on," Rogers said. "We have a very nice group of parents and very generous group of Geneva merchants wanting to support and celebrate the Class of 2020."
Parents of seniors organized it as a way for local businesses to do something fun and special for the graduates, who were denied a proper graduation event due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Terri McCormick, one of the organizers.
“Our local businesses are so generous and are offering prizes to graduates who play,” McCormick said.
Waldo, the friendly, bespectacled fellow in the familiar red-and-white striped shirt, will be featured on signs at various businesses from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday through Friday this week. Each one designated for a special treat for the Class of 2020.
“Graham’s is giving a free sundae, milkshake or ice scream scoop to our 488 graduates on Monday,” McCormick said.
Other locations today are Scentcerely Yours, and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. Tuesday will be Altiro, Geneva Ale House and Geneva High School, McCormick said.
“We posted the signs in front of the buildings. Those will be the clues – it’s not hard to figure out,” McCormick said. “On Tuesday, we will be giving away T-shirts to the Class of 2020 and the lunch lady will be giving away hot chocolate chip cookies. … On Thursday, Aurelio’s will be giving a slice of pizza to everybody.”
Seniors Lauren Ostroski and Morgan Feeney were among the first students Monday to get their ice cream treats at Graham’s Fine Chocolates for the 'Where’s Mr. Rogers?' event.
“I think it’s a super fun idea,” Ostroski said, as she ate a chocolate shake. “ It gets all the kids out when they’ve been stuck inside. It’s a lot of fun.”
And the shake?
“It’s so good,” Ostroski said. “Graham’s is the best.”
Feeney got cookie dough ice cream.
“It’s the best,” Feeney said.
Feeney praised the parents’ 'Where’s Mr. Rogers?' idea for an event, as seniors cannot have a regular graduation ceremony.
“It’s a great idea,” Feeney said. “This is everyone wanting to support us. It makes me feel loved by my community and supported.”
Other participating businesses are Doughocracy, FreshGround Roasting, Deane's Market and Deli, Always in Style Consignment, Merle Norman, Kilwin's, Chilled Palette, The Burger Shop, Sugar Path and Geneva Running Outfitters.