MIDLOTHIAN — Serving the community through avenues of painting houses and planting trees, Leadership Midlothian Class of 2017 is shaking things up and assisting the residents at the Midlothian Healthcare Center.

“This is a great class project that is serving the needs of the community in a different way,” expressed Cammy Jackson, President of the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsored by the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce, the Leadership Midlothian Class of 2017 is a program that consists of leaders from all backgrounds of professions within the city. Annually caring for the community, the class participates in a 10-month program, diving into an in-depth grasp of all that encompasses the heart of their home.

From local education to legal systems to health care and specialized industries, the class, not only gains a thorough knowledge of their community but also where they can pinpoint the most impact.

“Every year, we present a class project that’s a service to the community. This year, as a group collective, we decided that our class project was going to be seniors,” explained Tasha Taylor.

Taylor explained that approximately 20 leaders recently banded together and created a fun outlet for the Midlothian Healthcare Center residents.

“This year we got a game cabinet donated for game nights, and everybody pitched in and got a budget for the games,” Taylor described the process of the project.

With a beautiful wooden cabinet donated by the class and $600 worth of games, the class presented their project to the residents in a fun, enthusiastic game night on Tuesday, April 11.

“This project is different because it’s going to bring families of the residents together and encourage people to come together and have fun. We want to let the residents know that they’re not forgotten,” acknowledged Anna Deselle.

An entertaining break from the stresses of life, the project encourages a social bond between generations through cards and game board pieces.

“We have a junior version of Leadership Midlothian, it’s called the Midlothian Leadership Council, and there are six students of juniors and seniors from both high schools, Heritage and Midlothian," described Taylor. "These students mirror what we’re doing at a student level. So, we invite them to our events, and they’ve been volunteering in the community and have been doing a lot of things too."

Among those in attendance was Midlothian Heritage High School junior Caitlyn Harris and senior Austin Terry, both from the Midlothian Leadership Council program.

“They’re showing us a possibility of what could be if I open my options up,” expressed Harris about the program and the game-night event. “It was cool to see everyone happy and to play games with the residents. I think it was a growing experience.”

“Just getting to talk to people and play a few games was really fun,” Terry added.

Well received, the residents immediately grabbed a game and snack, formed a team, and let the laughs roll with visiting family members and students.

“The residents were really thrilled about it. It’s a neat idea that’s both heart-warming to see and special to do,” Jackson admired.

“It brought them together to socialize, and hopefully the idea of the game nights continue to bring people together,” Taylor finished with a smile.

To connect with Leadership Midlothian Class of 2017, visit midlothianchamber.org, or call (972) 723-8600

Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer