Remembering the Memories

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It's true they say it should be one of your happiest days, although it usually becomes quite hectic and flies by, and even though the Arnold High School Key Club students have not been married yet, they know how important a day it is to those who may struggle day to day remembering simple tasks.

It looks and sounds like most weddings you've attended, but this one is a little different.

"Seeing a wedding," says Senior Jenni Messer, "helps Alzheimer's patients remember things like their wedding and it helps them remember stuff."

Key Club advisor and teacher Mike Sylvester originally heard the idea broadcast on National Public Radio. A psychiatrist specializing geriatric studies discovered an amazing response among Alzheimer's patients with real-life scenarios.

"So, I heard that and thought, man, if we could do something like that and tie it in with the other things our students like to do, then we could be doing some real community service."

Among the 40 or so guests at the wedding and reception at the Matthis Retirement Center, the response was positive.

"I thought that was most touching, very appreciative and a lot nicer than some weddings," says resident Eva Hilsheimer.

Sophomore Erin Sylvester sat down to talk with one man about his marriage life, she learned more than she expected.

"They want to hang out with their peers and their friends just as much as we do and the things that they can relate to each other with just as much as teenagers, and it's really not much a difference."

So with the vows said the cake cut, the bride and groom roamed the crowd thanking each guest for attending this wedding. Sunday’s wedding was a first for many of the students, but a lifetime of memories for this crowd.