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Tradition of senior tea continues in Cedaredge

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Some fun in the sun Pioneer Town's Stolte Shed was site for the 66th consecutive occasion of a local tradition -- the annual Senior Tea, hosted by members of the Cedaredge Women's Literary Club (in the foreground) for graduating sen

Twenty-four young women who will graduate from Cedaredge High School this month were guests of the Cedaredge Women's Literary Club last week for a spring tradition that dates back to 1951.

The annual Senior Tea was hosted by members of the club at the Stolte Shed on May 3. This year club members were inspired for the event's setting by the elegant authenticity of cultural artifacts from Japan that were contributed for the event by a club friend. The Old West ambiance of the Stolte Shed was transformed by club members into the setting for a Japanese tea garden with kimonos, paper parasols, Japanese lanterns and other examples of Japanese culture tastefully set out as a tribute to their young women guests.

They heard words of encouragement from Mary Bauer, teen librarian, and Nancy Hovde, former DMEA board president. Club member and event emcee Lynette Reed and former Cedaredge Mayor Pat Means also made remarks focusing on self confidence for the soon-to-graduate seniors who will be entering into the next phase of their lives.

Means told the ladies that graduation "is a first step, not a small step. Dreams come true if you have the courage to find them."

Poet Phil Ellsworth said, "Cedaredge is really blessed with its young people." He read poetry accompanied with harmonica playing.

Each of the young women from the 2017 graduating class was given the opportunity to tell what their plans for the future are. Among their aspirations were several looking forward to health care studies and careers, and also several headed into education careers. There were a couple of veterinary science hopefuls, a future mechanical engineer who will attend Colorado School of Mines, and one planning a career in law enforcement.

Also present for the event was CHS instructor Sheri McFadden. She was the senior class sponsor this year and had taught many of the seniors attending the tea during their elementary school years.

Event emcee Reed noted that the senior tea tradition dates back to 1951 -- 66 years. That event was held as a thanks to the senior high school graduates who had helped members of the Cedaredge Women's Literary Club with tasks in the town library.

The Cedaredge Women's Literary Club is 107 years old, Reed said.

The young women were given gifts of books, bookmarks and other items that expressed the club members' appreciation and respect for the graduates' achievements and aspirations.

Club members served their guests out of vintage tea sets from their own collections. They provided a light luncheon of sandwiches, fruit and sweets for dessert.

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Cedaredge, CHS, Senior Tea
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