Mighty effort keeps Daisy Chain a graduation tradition at Medina
Photos and article by Tom Rivers
MEDINA – When 16 Medina juniors carry a 54-foot-long chain of daisies into Medina High School Auditorium this evening, it will be the continuation of a nearly century-long tradition at Medina.
The Daisy Chain is a chance to honor the top 16 girls in the Junior Class. They are escorted by the top two boys in the class.
They will have spent two full days picking daisies and assembling the long chain that will be placed in front of the stage for graduation.
“Every year people joke you ought to buy plastic daisies,” said Eric Hellwig, a teacher and the advisor on the Daisy Chain’s construction. “It’s nice to have traditions and history.”
Besides Hellwig, two other teachers, Marguerite Sherman and Kathy Boje, also are advisors on the project, including the dress for graduation. The girls wear white dresses and gloves and the boys will wear tuxedos with red vests.
Hellwig said the attire adds a formal air to commencement.
He said the district can trace the Daisy Chain back until at least the 1920s.
Students picked flowers for two to four hours on Thursday, filling 90 buckets at about a bushel apiece.
Meghan Allen admitted it was tedious and tiring work, but she saw symbolism in the that task with doing well in school.
“You have to work hard four your grades and work hard at this,” she said while building the Daisy Chain.
Michaela Cardone was grateful for the chance to work on the Daisy Chain and be part of a a revered Medina tradition. She said the project was good bonding with her classmates.
“Doing this gets more people involved in graduation and it looks nicer,” she said.
Hellwig said the Daisy Chain remains a popular tradition for the school. He expects it will continue to endure.
The Daisy Chain members for 2015 include Zack Harris and Brad McPherson, and the following: Meghan Allen, Alexis Barcena, Allison Bensley,Michaela Cardone, Davina Birch, Haylee Cogovan, Caitlyn Davies, Emma Gardner, Hannah Lonnen, Amanda Lunden, Liz Newman, Stella Russo, Carlin Sanders, Alyssa Shortridge, Abi Smith and Emma Wilson.