In honor of Madame Therese Caccavale, who passed last spring, the second annual Walk for Madame Caccavale was held on Saturday April 28th on the Holliston Rail Trail to raise money for a scholarship foundation in her name.
Senior Michela Michielli, who is a part of the French Immersion program that Mme Caccavale started in Holliston, started the walk. She had taken the Pre-AP French class with Mme last year and felt that she had to do something for Madame after she passed.
“I just didn’t really know what to do with myself… we were all crying and just kind of distraught… that night we all, a bunch of French kids got together, my grade at least, and made ribbons… and we handed them out the next morning,” said Michielli.
She wanted to honor Madame Caccavale’s “incredible force.” “She was just always impacting everyone, people who didn’t even take French, people who didn’t even know her,” said Michielli
Donna Cady, owner of the Candy Cottage, sponsored the event, despite not knowing Madame Caccavale well. But she knew of Madame Caccavale’s work and said “for many years she has been a key figure in the program.”
All of the proceeds from the walk go to the Therese S. Caccavale Scholarship Award, which is a scholarship through the Holliston Scholarship Foundation (HSF). “It will be awarded to a graduating senior who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the study of Foreign Language, strong academic performance, a high level of citizenship in the community and plans to continue their study of Foreign Language in college,” as stated by the HSF in their list of scholarships for 2018.
Last year the walk raised $4580 for the award according to the Walk for Madame website, https://walkformadame.com/. The scholarship was awarded to Sam Ratcliffe who is attends Hamilton College according to an article in the “Local Town Pages” .
As the second annual walk, the process and results were slightly different than the year before.
Last year the walk was very close to Mme Caccavale’s passing and so “it was more emotional…it brought people together who loved Madame.” This year “it continued that, but there was a completely different feeling there. It wasn’t sad or grieving… this year it was a lot more people who were in the program… it was more French Immersion and the power of the program,” said senior Flannery Langton.
According to both Michielli and Langton, the walk gained the most support from the teachers and faculty who knew Mme Caccavale and worked with her throughout her years as a teacher and department head.
The walk is anticipated to continue to be an annual event. Michielli hopes to be able to run the walk despite being in college.
“It would be nice to pass it on, but I also feel like it would be difficult because, you know the younger the kids are that are coming up, the less they’ve …been exposed to her” said Michielli.
Michielli thanks everyone who has contributed or offered support for both wolks. She said that they have inspired her to keep going with this fundraiser and showed her “the unity and the greatness that can arise from people.”