Noreen Heyer felt “twice as much pride” Saturday at the H. Frank Carey High School Homecoming festivities in Franklin Square.
The mother of twins, both seniors, was overwhelmed as she watched her son, Chris, 17, receive the crown as Carey’s homecoming king alongside homecoming queen Brenda Darcy.
“I was just not expecting it,” she said. “And he was so thrilled to be nominated by his classmates… It’s just such an honor.”
That feeling of honor doubled when she took to the field later that day, walking alongside her other son John, 17, and her husband, Paul in the rose ceremony, a long-standing tradition where the varsity football seniors and their parents walk under the goal post of the football field together. A school cheerleader then runs up and presents both parents with one rose.
An emotional Heyer could not help but let slip a few tears of joy for the occasion.
“I’m feeling tremendous pride and joy of their experiences at this school … it’s made them honorable, courageous men,” she said. “And I’m a very lucky mom.”
The ceremony usually takes place at a separate game, but the school chose to hold it this year at homecoming. The roses were purchased by the Carey Dads’ Club, a nonprofit organization for parents of students who attend H. Frank Carey High School.
Principal Valerie Angelillo says the ceremony represents the closeness found within the Carey community and is a chance for the school to give back and show appreciation to the parents.
“I’m so happy to give her that emotion, to give her that feeling of elation,” John said of his mom. “...We would be nowhere without her.”
As for Noreen, Saturday ranked right up there with Jan. 29, 1997, the day Chris and John were born.
“That day was amazing, but this day I have to say has also been such a gift, such a proud moment,” she said. “I can’t believe where we’ve come in almost 18 years.”