Skip to main content

Selflessness ensures tradition’s seamless continuity

Cousins Booker (left) and Maverick enjoy their trackside vantage ...
Cousins Booker (left) and Maverick enjoy their trackside vantage …
... and move closer to Albert for the big-picture perspective.
… and move closer to Albert for the big-picture perspective.
A commemorative plaque celebrates the children's benefactors.
A commemorative plaque celebrates the children’s benefactors.
All aboard for magical holiday travel!
All aboard for magical holiday travel!
Older toddlers watch and wave as the train makes its rounds.
Older toddlers watch and wave as the train makes its rounds.

A holiday present first delivered in 2010 by Patrick M. Breen keeps on giving at the Dunham Children’s Learning Center, thanks to the generosity of his widow. Breen – who died in June – was a first-shift custodian in the Bush Campus Center (where the childcare facility once was housed) and a mutual attachment among him, the youngsters and staff was quick to form. When the CLC moved to the Hager Lifelong Education Center eight years ago, Breen maintained the connection by installing a train set in a nearby conference room. Honoring the custom and her late husband’s memory, Laura Breen has donated the train layout, which shipping/receiving worker Eric W. Huffman recently set up and made operational. “This continues Pat Breen’s tradition of bringing his display to the center each December,” an appreciative CLC director Barbara J. Albert said. “The children love seeing the train, and even our 1-year-olds point to the door of the room and say ‘Train’ as they come and go each day.”
Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer, and Michelle M. Cowher, assistant group leader