For the third year, Sweetbriar Elementary School students spread Valentine’s Day cheer to seniors at Cherry Park Plaza, delivering handmade cards and a signed banner Thursday.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Students from Sweetbriar Elementary School in Troutdale made a large collection of various types of valentine cards for the residents of Cherry Park Plaza.

“You know what you can give away that you’ve still got?” Harold Whitney, a resident, asked the students. “Your smiles!”

About 20 seniors nestled into the lounge of Cherry Park Plaza as four Sweetbriar honor students — fifth-grader Elvis Kunda, third-grader Hillary Saal, second-grader Kaeley Green and first-grader Samuel Moffit — divvied out valentines created by the entire school during the past month.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Sweetbriar Elementary third-grader Hillary Saal presents valentines on a string to a Cherry Park Plaza resident on Thursday, Valentine´s Day.

“I was told the shortest person would do a break dance performance,” Eric Pahlka, Cherry Park Plaza activities coordinator, joked as he introduced the students.

While there was no impromptu dance performance, residents said just chatting with the kids brightened their day.

“Next to cancer, loneliness is the second biggest thing among older people,” said Whitney, who was wearing two of his homemade valentine buttons.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Sweetbriar Elementary first-grader Samuel Moffit talks with 96-year-old Cherry Park Plaza resident Roger Lowe after presenting him with a valentine.

And it wasn’t just the kids who brought the holiday cheer.

Roger Lowe, 96, sported his finest cupid attire for the event — a red shirt, a big red bow tie and a hat adorned with valentine memorabilia.

Sponsored by Troutdale FedEx, the card-making project culminated in an assembly Thursday morning, followed by the valentines’ delivery with Principal Lisa Darnold.

“There’s a cross-generational gap we fill by doing this,” said Tony Gonzalez, human resources generalist of FedEx. “It’s a project super dear to our hearts.”

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