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Panas Students Bring Holiday Joy to Seabury

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- 31 students in the Walter Panas High School Choir sang holiday music in the lobby of the Seabury at Fieldhome Thursday, much to the enjoyment of the residents of the assisted living facility.

"They walk away with a lifetime of memories and lessons," said choir director Annette Vaccaro.

Vaccaro, who has been in the district for 31 years, explained that singing at different areas around town, including Yorktown, Cortlandt and Peekskill, is part of a 50-year tradition that started in the 1960s. Vaccaro herself used to sing in the choir and remembers going around to all the different places in town.

Days away from Christmas, and hours away from the third night of Hanukkah, the students sang all of the various holiday songs-- including an audience request of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, which brought the crowd together clapping and lightly tapping their feet.

"They were just wonderful, they did a beautiful job," said Seabury's Director of Recreation and Volunteers, Josie Andaloro. "They all love being able to listen to them come and sing."

While the residents enjoyed the visit, the Panas students also walked away with a greater understanding of the holidays, and of their community, explained Vaccaro.

"This isn't something they can learn in a classroom," she said. "Here, they are learning to give of themselves, they are learning a lesson that is bigger than themselves. It's a day of fun, but it's also a day of memories."

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