Baskets with ‘love’

Group distributes items to graduating seniors

Darlene Mardino helps to build baskets for graduating seniors at the Master’s Plan Ministries.

DAYTON — You know the old saying that “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”? Well, “The Master’s Plan” has been busy putting a cherry on top of an unusual graduation season with baskets of love made for 2020 graduates of Gowanda Central, Clymer Central, Pine Valley Central and Cattaraugus Little Valley Central.

While celebrating the class of 2020 may look a bit different this year, it did not stop big hearts in a small town “showing love is The Master’s Plan” says Angie Mardino-Miller. A month-long project comes to a close, with the volunteers ranging from 8 to 80 years old working together to create a sweet surprise for each graduating senior.

Volunteers gathered materials and donations, obtained pictures of each graduate, assembled each individual item in the basket with an uplifting message to encourage and empower, and delivered the completed baskets. The delivery process of these baskets was as different as this year is from graduations we are used to… some were delivered door to door, some were delivered in a drive-by and a drive-in at The Master’s Plan, and some we delivered to schools.

“We want to thank all the people that donated materials and gift cards for this effort,” Mardino-Miller stated. “We also want to thank our volunteers for their efforts in making this surprise a reality; Sophia Degolier, Bella Degolier, Dustin Stark, Becky Degolier, Christine Mathews, Denise George, Debi Anderson, Bill and Debbie Grainge, Jackie John, Jackie Lawler, Roz Lesniak, Emily Lesniak, Teresa Heitzenrater, Darlene Mardino, Jim Mardino, Sarah and Richie Mardino, Dave and Debbie Eiss, Jerry and Ruth Ann Rogers and Ireland and Kaden Roberts; it truly was a labor of love.”

Their message to the graduates also had a message in a message:

The Master’s Plan was filled with graduation baskets for students across the region recently.

¯ CLASS of 2020!! YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!! We want you to know we are so enormously proud of you, and we are cheering you on from 6 feet or more!

¯ The Class of 2020 is like no other. YOU MADE IT through the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, a worldwide quarantine and nationwide riots. Distance learning even gave your Senior Skip days and entirely new meaning!

¯ CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU WORKED SO HARD, and the time has arrived… your graduation!

¯ YOU MADE HISTORY AND WILL MAKE MORE! The best is yet to come!

¯ Masks and Hats off to one of the strongest classes ever! ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE AND KEEP MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE BY BEING IN IT.’

Volunteers stand outside The Master’s Plan Ministries showing off baskets made for graduating seniors.


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