On a sunny Tuesday as dozens of grade schoolers clad in red and blue ran around the playground of the Blessed St. Paul II Regional Catholic School, the 84-year-old widow of an alumnus handed a $1,000 check to Principal Kathleen Peck.
The newly formed Catholic school, at the former St. Mary's School on South Main Street in Middletown, offers science education to kindergartner a through third-graders, but finances didn't allow for upper grade classes.
When graduate and wife of the late Henry Tomaszewsi, former owner and pharmacist at the now closed Haddam and Higganuum and Pharmacies Eleanor asked Peck how her $1,000 gift could be best used, she learned about the lack of science curriculum.
"I think Henry would be very pleased," she said. "Science education should start in the primary grades. Who knows who the next pharmacist or doctor will be in the group?"
Henry died 25 years ago in 1988. His three daughters, Lea Tomaszewski of Middletown, Paula of Savannah, Ga., and Linda of Bartlett, I'll., also contributed to the $1,000 donation.
The family also brought along a custom baked cake decorated like a chalkboard in fondant, with a ruler as a decorative border for staff and children to mark the occasion.
Henry, who grew up in Middletown, along with his three girls, attended St. Mary's School and the family are longtime parishioners of the church. Resident Kevin Kelly stopped by to photograph the event and his two grandchildren who attend the school — third- and sixth-graders Elijah and Talia.