Beach Elementary School celebrated a special birthday for one of its staff members on the first day back to school after the holiday break.
The entire student body, faculty and staff members honored Ms. Pat Baker, one the school's food service workers, with an assembly in the cafeteria. Ms. Pat turned 80 years young during the break.
Dairy Queen Fort Myers Beach (1000 Estero Blvd. in Times Square) donated more than 200 ice cream cups for the occasion. Manager Chris Probus and employee Nikki Crews delivered the sweetness bounty and stuck around for the celebration.
Ms. Pat shows off her tattoo of two dolphins she received as a gift from Beach Elementary faculty/staff. The fake tattoo was a birthday request, and the dolphin is the school mascot.
Ms. Pat, a native of Indiana, has worked at Beach Elementary for 12 years and was touched by the outpouring of love, handmade birthday cards and gifts she received.
"Thank you very much," she said. "You are all so special to me."
Physical Education teacher Heather Lodovico was the emcee of the event. Dressed in a ketchup squeeze container costume in honor of the food service employee, "coach" had everyone sing "happy Birthday" to Ms. Pat and then asked her favorite lunch lady several questions. She found out Ms. Pat's favorite color was purple (school color) and her favorite food was chocolate (she received a lot of chocolate) among other things.
To the delight of all in attendance, the two even danced to "Moon Glow," a song by Benny Goodman that was the No. 1 hit in 1934, the year Ms. Pat was born. Happy belated, Ms. Pat!