GOOCHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - There was barely any room left to sit in the Byrd Elementary School cafeteria Tuesday evening as hundreds of students, parents and loved ones packed tightly, shoulder to shoulder against each other and all for the chance to honor Connie May Brice, who served as a cafeteria lady at Byrd Elementary for over 20 years.
Brice lost her battle with Pancreatic cancer in June 2019, but before her passing, she made a lasting impact on all the students who crossed her path. As a result, the Byrd Elementary faculty and staff decided to rename the Cafeteria in her honor.
Stratford Slater was a kindergartner at Byrd Elementary 46 years ago and now owns a printing business called EZ Ships & EZ Signs in Goochland. During the dedication ceremony, he and his employees unveiled a banner to be hung in the cafeteria in Brice’s memory.
“We have a dedication we’d like to give to the school, a little something here for today’s event,” said Slater. “The name of the cafeteria is going to be changed to Connie’s Cafe.”
In addition to the banner, a plaque was also unveiled with a message from the Goochland staff to Brice. Brice’s son Brandon Brice was overcome with emotion at the unveiling.
Despite the heavy emotion Brandon wanted to make sure to tell one last joke to the audience for Brice which was met with thunderous laughter.
“I know she’d want me to tell y’all this please don’t scratch her floors,” said Brandon.
Brice’s only grandchild Kayden Brice was satisfied to see that so many people came out to support his grandmother.
“She deserved for this room to be packed,” said Kayden. “I’m going to say this right now... She is the greatest person I will ever know.”
During the dedication, each grade level sang songs or read poems about how much Brice meant to them. The ceremony concluded with a rewritten version of the famous song ‘Ain’t no Mountain High Enough,’ with lyrics that reflected their appreciation for Brice.
A scholarship fund has also been created in Brice’s name which will be ward to a deserving Goochland High School graduate who also attended Byrd Elementary.
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