In May of each year, PTM’s Calvin House Senior Banquet is held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. It’s a beautiful night where volunteers make dinner and decorate the fellowship hall, and PTM’s high school seniors are honored for the milestone that they have worked so hard towards. High school graduation is an incredible achievement, and some PTM students celebrate this accomplish as the first in their family.
This is one of my favorite nights every year. Each table (festively decorated in all things high school graduation: balloons, streamers, and tiny pieces of confetti in the shape of graduation caps and diplomas) is designated to a specific senior, to be filled by that student’s ‘cloud of witnesses.’
Not only is it a powerful thing to see the immense amount of pride in the room as mothers watch their sons and daughters called to the front to be recognized with slideshows, words of encouragement, and meaningful gifts – but it is an equally moving thing to see tables overflowing with past SaLT tutors, Calvin House leaders, Lunchmate Mentors, Family Group leaders, the list goes on. It is truly amazing to see these groups of volunteers come together to celebrate individual students whom they have – individually, but also collectively – invested in, mentored, prayed for, and guided throughout their journeys at PTM.
It is a dream at PTM that each student would have an overflowing table at his or her Calvin House senior banquet – that more and more chairs would have to be pulled up because so many people are gathering around one single student to say “You did it! We are SO proud.”
This night also reminds me that it really does ‘take a village.’ PTM is so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who have committed to being in the lives of the students at PTM. It’s my hope that everyone in the PTM family has a chance to experience a Calvin House senior banquet – and to experience the joy of having to pull up an extra chair.