Community members in Williams Lake will have a chance to throw their support behind this year’s Lake City Secondary School graduates, who will once again be without a formal dry grad celebration in 2021.
“We’ve tried to organize a bunch of different things and they all fell through [due to pandemic health regulations],” said Alexandro Brinoni, a Grade 12 student and member of the grad committee.
“We’re profusely thankful to the [Williams Lake and District] Credit Union for this opportunity and their generous donation to the grad committee.”
While individual graduation ceremonies will take place, similar to last year, on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11, and another reverse parade is awaiting approval to be held Saturday, June 12, students, staff and grad committee parents were stumped on what do in lieu of dry grad and for other fundraising initiatives.
When the idea to host a meal came up, the WLDCU hopped on board, offering to help offset the costs of what will be a memorable lunch for graduates on Tuesday, June 9.
For a $20 donation, residents can stop by the credit union and sponsor a meal for a graduate, with the WLDCU offering to pay the remaining cost of the catered meals. This will include getting a name, or message, of congratulations onto a fundraising display at the Williams Lake branch. The grad fundraiser is slated to run until the May long weekend.
“We just wanted to make sure the graduates get something suitable and fun, and something that’s important for them,” said WLDCU financial service representative Cathy Albrechtsen.
And with 205 graduates from LCSS slated to cross the stage this year, students will take part in a red carpet walk through the school — accompanied by decorations according to this year’s theme, the Enchanted Forest — where grads will dress up in their gowns and suits and parade through the hallways to the congratulatory cheers of fellow students, peers and staff at the school. The in-house parade will be followed by the meal, where students will be split up into their cohorts in following COVID-19 protocols.
Kim Nowotny, the team leader with the grad committee and a staff member at the school, said she’s thrilled with the idea for the event, as students have been meeting once a week providing their input into grad ideas, sometimes in vain due to health restrictions.
“It has been a bit frustrating, for sure, for the students,” she said of trying to plan fun grad events, then having them cancelled.
Laura Zimmerman, the decorations chair with the grad committee and a parent of a graduating student, said she’d like to encourage community members to purchase a plate to support this year’s graduating class of 2021.
“This is a very special class,” Zimmerman said of getting the chance to work with the group. “They roll with the punches, they’re not real big on partying and big on fellowship and academics. They really are an amazing bunch of kids.”
Nowotny, meanwhile, noted to stay tuned for details on the upcoming dry grad vehicle draw, as Cariboo GM, HUB International, resident Roger Gysel and the grad committee have banded together to once again donate a vehicle — a 2021, white Chevrolet Spark — to this year’s class to raffle off to a lucky community member.