Article by Céili Donnelly ’20
The whole thing started because of an idea Sarah Killian ’20 and her mom came up with after seeing various birthday drive-bys and then the one organized by parents and students past Kellenberg back in April. She asked some of the seniors on the girl’s varsity track team what we thought. We had done a few virtual hangouts as a team with the coaches, but we still missed seeing each other in person and running together so much, and we knew Mr. Brown missed the team and coaching us a lot, so we thought it would be a nice idea to help cheer him up. So, Sarah and I talked about it and then I contacted Mr. Moncada, who contacted Mrs. Brown to make sure she could have Mr. Brown home when we came by. We then got the word out to the rest of the team and a lot of the alumni from the past couple of years.
Then I saw the success of the food drive that fellow classmate Ally Goldsmith ’20 had put together for Island Harvest. I thought it might be nice for each person to bring some food and toiletries to the drive-by for us to donate to Island Harvest. We usually do a Service-Over-Self (SOS) project as a team each season, but since our season was canceled, we never got to do one for Spring Track, so I thought this would be a good way to do something like that and also help keep the team spirit alive.
The current team and alumni all met at the Best Market parking lot in Franklin Square, about 5 minutes from Mr. Brown’s house in Malverne, at 4:00 on Friday, May 15th. The girls dropped off their donations in my car for Island Harvest. Then it was parade time! Many of us had our cars decorated with balloons and window paint for KMHS track and thanking Mr. Brown. Then, we drove out of the parking lot in a line to Mr. Brown’s house and drove past him honking and yelling “Thank you.” A few of the girls left right after they drove-by while a few of us stayed and talked to Mr. and Mrs. Brown and the other coaches and each other for an hour or so albeit while social distancing.
It was so nice to see Mr. and Mrs. Brown and to see the smile we were able to bring to their faces by doing such a simple and fun activity. And seeing all of our teammates come together despite all that’s been going on was amazing. Things like this remind us why we love our team so much and why we’ve done track and cross country all four years. It’s hard not having our last season, but we’ll always be grateful for times like those and all the other times our coaches and teammates have been there for us and given us some of the best days of our lives.