BUCKHANNON — National Grandparents Day is celebrated this Sunday, September 13, and this is the perfect time to call your grandparents or remember them for all their love and support. The Upshur County Senior Center wants to celebrate their seniors and encourage family members to reach out to their grandparents and great-grandparents, especially during this time of social distancing.
West Virginia native Marian McQuade originally petitioned for the observance of Grandparents Day in the 1970s. While serving on the West Virginia Commission on Aging and the Nursing Home Licensing Board, McQuade petitioned to start the holiday as a reason for families to visit their older family members in nursing homes. Once she gained support, it turned into a way for grandparents to pass down wisdom and history. September was chosen for the holiday to represent the autumn years of life.
After persuading West Virginia Governor Arch Moore to proclaim the holiday annually in 1973, McQuade and supporters petitioned and gained support from 43 states within three years, which was enough to pass a joint resolution in the Senate. The first Sunday after Labor Day was later proclaimed National Grandparents Day on September 6, 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. The day was officially designated to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
Local resident Hazel Davidson reflected on what Grandparents Day means to her. “It means a lot to me. I’ve got 20 grandchildren and I’ve got too many great grandchildren to count them,” she laughed. “I have awfully nice grandchildren. I have one who is an ear, nose and throat doctor. They all make me proud of them,” she said. Davidson said she plans to celebrate the holiday by going to church.
Local resident and retired banker Gary Frush is also proud of his grandkids. “I’m tickled to death to have four grandchildren. We have three granddaughters and one grandson, and they bring a lot of joy to our lives,” Frush remarked. He will be celebrating the day with his wife, Sarah.
Betty Casto cannot celebrate with her grandkids this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but loves them very much, nonetheless. “I love my grandkids!” she expressed. “I would do anything for my grandkids.”
The Upshur County Senior Center is currently looking for volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program and outreach activities, such as making birthday and special holiday phone calls, coordinating cards and more. Call (304) 472-0528 for more information on how you can assist and honor local seniors.