Wednesday, June 26, 2013
High school reunions are a common thing. So are family and college reunions.
But a group of people recently got together at East Bay Park in Georgetown for a daycare reunion.
Reta Kennedy, who ran a daycare in her home in the 3800 block of Highmarket Street from 1991-1998 held the get-together for many of the ones she once took care of at her facility.
It was not only a chance to reunite with the ones she loves, it was also an opportunity to revisit Georgetown — a place she left after a terrible ordeal.
In February 2006 — after she closed the daycare and was working at Gateway Academy in Surfside Beach — Kennedy was attacked inside her home.
Someone from her church found her in a pool of blood and called 911.
Police say Kennedy — who was a member of Bethesda Baptist Church — was home alone when someone broke into her house through a window and beat her about the head and body.
She was in a coma for five days and remained hospitalized for five weeks recovering from the attack. Her assailant was never caught.
As a result of the attack, Kennedy moved to another state but never forgot about the kids who had been in her care. Their ages now range from 19 to 28.
“The Lord gave me the idea,” Kennedy said when asked how she came up with the plan for a daycare reunion. “The children have done so well for themselves and I am so proud of them. I just wanted to get with them and hug their necks.”
Kennedy said when she closed her daycare, she had been in childcare for 43 years.
“Children is what I love. Every Tuesday we would go to the library. I believe in books and pencil and paper,” she said.
Of the 19 former students invited, 15 showed up for the June 15 reunion at East Bay Park.
“I remember taking them to that park when they were in diapers,” Kennedy recalled. “We ordered pizza and chatted and had a great time laughing and reminiscing.”
Kennedy said she is especially proud at the success stories she heard from her students as they talked about their lives in and after college.
Those who attended or were invited to the reunion were: Jordan Walton who received a communications degree from Newberry College; Justin Walton, a senior at Francis Marion University; Ervin Singleton, a senior at Benedict College;
Nijah Williams, a junior at Miller Motte Technical College; Maya Morant, graduating this year from Savannah State; Ashley Jones, a junior at Horry-Georgetown Technical College; Ciera Ellis, a senior at the University of South Carolina; Alex Young, a senior at Francis Marion University;
Adreanne Singleton, a sophomore at South University; Danielle Langley, a sophomore at Clemson University; Shaquira Langley, a junior at Hampton University;
Kenard Holmes, a junior at Georgetown High School; Mandisa Armstrong, a 2009 graduate of Winthrop University; Marcus Kennedy, a 2009 graduate of St. Augustine University; Serena Nesmith, a senior at the University of South Carolina.;
Michael Armstrong, the U.S. Air Force; Terea Kennedy, a graduate of A&T University; Robert Dozier, a 2009 graduate of Georgetown High School.
By Scott Harper