Great-grandmother fills in as homecoming queen at Helena parade

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

HELENA — Jane Jaros was all smiles and waves as she accompanied her great-grandson Justin Long, Helena High School’s homecoming king, filling in as the homecoming queen for Helena’s Christmas parade.

Daisy Capps, the official homecoming queen for HHS, was unfortunately unable to attend the parade, so Long took the opportunity to give his great-grandmother a royal welcome and accompany him as the queen.

“When Daisy Capps told Justin that she would not be able to come, he thought about different options like riding with his friends, with some other girls or by himself,” said his mother Kristin Long. “Then he suggested asking my grandmother Jane, who he has been very close with his whole life, and she said yes immediately.”

Kristin said that Jaros was very excited about being the queen and immediately began picking out what outfit she would wear for the parade. She was even given a special sash and tiara by Capps that she was going to wear in the parade.

Anyone who was present at the parade could not help but notice Jaros’s enthusiasm as she waved and smiled at everyone she passed by, while riding with her great-grandson.

“She thought she was really the homecoming queen, she just loved it,” Kristin said. “She said it was not even on her bucket list but she was glad that she was able to do it.”

Her being the homecoming queen is very appropriate as her recent 95th birthday party was royal themed. She was the queen and everyone dressed up in royal attire to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Jaros expressed that the love and kindness that Justin showed to her made her feel extra special and really made her day.

“She was so happy that Justin had his arm around her the whole time,” Kristin said. “He was worried she would lose her balance. A lot of 17 year old boys would not think to treat their grandmother that way, and it really made her feel special.”

After the parade Jaros was the talk of her friends and was clearly so happy that she was given this incredible opportunity to spend time with her great-grandson who went out of his way to do something nice for her.

“She really thought she was queen of the world,” Kristin said. “She even joked later on about how her shoulder hurts from doing her queenly wave throughout the parade.”

Overall the parade was an opportunity for Jaros to spend time with her family who she loves so deeply, and interact with the community in a safe way.

“She also made sure to acknowledge Daisy, she said that she did not want her to be forgotten either,” Kristin said.