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Grandmother's dress makes Hampton girl's graduation special

Submitted - Tira McCall, right, poses with her maternal grandmother, Caroline Gillono, 81, of Leechburg, on the evening of Hampton High School’s graduation in the same dress Gillono wore to her 1949 Leechburg High School graduation.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Tira McCall, right, poses with her maternal grandmother, Caroline Gillono, 81, of Leechburg, on the evening of Hampton High School’s graduation in the same dress Gillono wore to her 1949 Leechburg High School graduation.
Submitted - Tira McCall, right, poses with her maternal grandmother, Caroline Gillono, 81, of Leechburg, on the evening of Hampton High School’s graduation in the same dress Gillono wore to her 1949 Leechburg High School graduation.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Tira McCall, right, poses with her maternal grandmother, Caroline Gillono, 81, of Leechburg, on the evening of Hampton High School’s graduation in the same dress Gillono wore to her 1949 Leechburg High School graduation.

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By Bethany Hofstetter
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Tira McCall has a strong relationship with her maternal grandmother and now the pair shares another special bond.

McCall, 18, of Hampton, attended Hampton High School's commencement ceremony on June 7 at Fridley Field in the same dress her grandmother Caroline Gillono, 81, of Leechburg, wore to her 1949 graduation from Leechburg High School.

“It was special to me … because she means a lot to me,” McCall said. “It felt awesome to walk down (on the field).”

McCall, named after Gillono's maiden name, said she was “adamant” about wanting to wear the white eyelet dress after Gillono found it while cleaning out her closet.

McCall's mother, Joanne McCall, cleaned decades of discoloration out of the fabric with Woolite and white vinegar and replaced the crystal-like buttons with ones from McCall's dance costumes. A friend also updated the dress by shortening the hem and removing one of the double collars.

McCall said as she sat with her graduating class, in her grandmother's dress, she caught the eye of her grandmother sitting in the stadium.

“It was a moment we had,” she said.

McCall will attend Carlow University in the fall with plans to study perfusion technology.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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