BELMONT — On Jan. 23 Genesee Valley School District senior citizens were treated to an entertaining evening of dinner and dancing at the school campus in Belmont.

Guests were welcomed warmly by students and staff and seated in a dining area decorated with a jungle theme. Guests were given a magnet on which was written “I Danced at the Gala in the Jungle 2019” created by the Jag Design Co. students.

A dinner was prepared by the cafeteria manager, Dawn Reniff, and her staff and served by students. Students were seated with each table of senior citizens, allowing time for individuals spanning generations to converse with one another and share their thoughts.

Music for the “Gala in the Jungle” was provided by Macedonian Exchange Student Filip Trajkovski and elementary music instructor Tom Musingo.

A well-received event, “Gala in the Jungle,” was one of the service projects students in the Hacking Leadership course were responsible for organizing this year. This leadership class is a new course co-taught this year by Genesee Valley educators Sarah Horne and Dan Anger.

“The 13 students participating in this course were charged with the task of creating and completing three service projects,” explained Sarah Horne. “One project consisted of a mentoring program with four students in our school, the gala night, and a fundraiser for school supplies to send to a school in Kenya." 

Retired Genesee Valley educator Donna DiGirolamo noted, “Genesee Valley’s ‘Gala in the Jungle’ was a special evening for the school district’s senior citizens and all those involved in this occasion. This event provided an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy each other’s company. It also served as a reminder that you are really never too old to kick up your heels!”