Hundreds of friends and family members packed the sidelines of Riverhead High School’s football field Saturday morning to watch members of the Class of 2014 receive their diplomas.
The outgoing seniors shared hugs and tears, reminiscing on the past triumphs and tragedies that shaped their education. Particularly moving was this year’s class gift — a donation of $10,000 toward Michael Hubbard’s recovery.
Michael, who was the victim of an accident three years ago when a gel candle exploded, leaving him with severe brain injuries, would have been graduating with the rest of the class Saturday. Michael still got a chance to make his way onto the stage during the ceremony and receive an honorary diploma.
More than 300 of his former classmates donated $2,000 toward Michael’s room at Brendan House, a group care facility in Riverhead, and $8,000 to the Michael Hubbard Fund, to assist with his medical treatment.
“Michael, you taught us more than any classroom ever could have,” class treasurer Samantha Lombardi.
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