Above: Lily Mollicone, a member of the EGHS Class of 2020.

Joe Kulik

By Suraj Sait

Sometimes, all it takes is a little pizza.

After many senior events were canceled, Mr. Bob Houghtaling, the director of the East Greenwich Drug Rehabilitation Program, decided to treat this year’s batch of seniors to a special dish: Twisted.

“For me, it was just an opportunity to stay connected with your class,” said Mr. Bob when I interviewed him. “To let them know the community supported the Class of 2020.”

Pizzas were available in two kinds: half cheese/half pepperoni and veggie. Surprisingly, the pizzas were free. Mr. Bob had paid for all of them in advance, even though seniors were initially told that they’d have to only pay a reduced cost.

“It was a unique opportunity to give your class a gift,” said Mr. Bob. “There were a number of people I really enjoyed interacting with. I would like to say goodbye to them and give them an opportunity to spiritually be with each other, even if they physically can’t be with each other.”

Maleela Hong

Nearly 60 seniors (and some juniors from the clubs that Mr. Bob advises) came out to pick up a pie. For several of them, it was one of the first times that they had seen their peers in months; many were also grateful about the size of the generous gift.

““I’m so grateful for the contribution from Mr. Bob,” said senior Anthony Purcell. “He really brightened my night and gave me an opportunity to see some friends that I haven’t been able to throughout quarantine.”

“I thought it was awesome,” commented senior Ada Oancea. “It was a great way to brighten up all the seniors’ days.”

To Mr. Bob: thank you very much! We seniors really appreciate the kind deed, and are truly grateful for the wonderful, supportive community that our town is.

Writer Suraj Sait is a member of the EGHS Class of 2020. He will be attending the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.


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