The Spirit of Valentine in East Lansing, Part II

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Sunday, February 14, 2016, 10:35 am
By: 
Julie Rojewski
This is the second part of a feature on Valentine's Day in East Lansing. In case you missed it, Part I is right here.

 

 

 Ellie, age 8 and in 3rd grade at Donley, summed it up succinctly when she said “Valentine’s Day is about love.”

Seydou Dembele, a paraprofessional teacher at Marble Elementary, shared a similar sentiment, and said that what he liked about Valentine’s Day was “the party. Especially, making other people happy, and watching the kids sharing gifts.” With his own family, he planned to “go out to eat. Food is always part of it, and spending time together.”

As with Dembele, for many in town, the holiday is a chance to honor family and celebrate one another.

Sophia, a 3rd grader at Marble, tried to articulate a compelling case for receiving gifts from her parents. Her argument, detailed below, included the “fact” that she makes “people smile all the time” and that “even if I’m kind of lazy or angry when I am sick I am still awesome.” As of this article going to press, it had not been decided if her parents were compelled by this argument.

 

Photo: Maggie Moore (back row, far right), with her family and Denzel Valentine (back row, second from right).

For some people in East Lansing, Valentine’s Day was not simply an opportunity to celebrate their special love or a beloved Valentine, but one Valentine, in particular: Denzel Valentine, the 6’5” senior currently playing for the MSU Men’s Basketball team.

For ELHS math teacher Maggie Moore and her family, February 14 is not merely “Valentine’s Day,” but “Denzel Valentine’s Day,” and they share Denzel-Valentine-themed cards with one another. To honor this family tradition, ELHS Administrative Assistant Mary Fata arranged for Mr. Valentine to surprise Moore, her family (see photo), and her students at school. Moore said she was so surprised she doesn’t remember much other than her stepdaughter Iris exclaiming “he’s so tall!” One of Moore’s students, though, commented to her that “that was so cool, Mrs. Moore; everyone is so excited....we totally needed something like that around here.

Mr. Valentine continued spreading the love and holiday spirit by stopping over to visit Marble Elementary School. Marble first-grader Lexi Hagan had sent the Spartan Communication Major a valentine card, and while he was on Burcham Drive visiting with students, he wanted to thank her in person (below). He also greeted her classmates, as well as several other classes, signing autographs and taking pictures until he had to leave, laughing “I have to get to basketball practice!”

However you choose to celebrate this holiday—be it with basketball, candy, parties, with loved ones or alone—we hope you have a wonderful day, and enjoy the Valentine’s love and community flowing through East Lansing.

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