Lake George grads connect with their roots

"Find your passion, follow your heart, then come back to Lake George - even if it's just to visit," he said.

Connie Luke, of the Class of 1960, gave the grads a series of tips.

"Set goals in your life, pray for wisdom, cultivate your listening skills, give credit when credit is due, don't sweat the small stuff, don't become a workaholic. Choose your friends wisely, and keep a sense of humor," she said.

With a wry smile, "Uncle Vic" Lefebvre of the Class of 1947, advised the female grads to break with convention and "do a couple of loads of laundry even if the clothes aren't yours," and for the males, "Take dad out to lunch and pick up the check."

Restaurateur Carl DeSantis advised the group to pursue their interests with persistence.

"Take the career path that best fits you - success is measured in many ways," he said, adding that charity work was important for all. "Hard work and determination do pay off - Consider what Rachael Ray has accomplished."

The nine honor group students recalled their roots - the theme of the graduation - as they offered observations on the future.

Madeline Rehm recalled fistfights to first crushes during the early school years.

"Lake George Elementary is where we sunk our roots, and where they'll remain while we continue to grow," she said.

Mary Strachan recalled wastebasket fires, aggressive dodge-ball games and bean-bag tag.

"It takes a village to raise a child, and I can't think of a better community to grow up in," she said.

Erika LaPlante said she grew up to understand her parents' advice to not "wish childhood away." She remembered the boys in fifth grade making a massive brownie ball filled with ketchup, and other elementary highlights.

"No matter where we go or what we become, we'll always be a family," she said.

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