The organizers of Williams Lake Dry Grad are reaching out to the community for help after being told they have to find a new home for their extensive collection of decorations.
Dry Grad chair Angie Brinoni said she has been notified by School District 27 that the decorations, which are worth thousands of dollars and take up about 1,500 square feet of storage space, have to be moved out of the old Chimney Valley school building as soon as possible because the district plans to take down the building and return the property to a natural state.
“There is a lot of stuff in there,” she said, describing everything from thousands of lights, to rolls and rolls of gossamer fabric, to props such as a jukebox or even a pirate ship.
Brinoni said she already asked if the decorations could be stored at the closed Glendale school location, however, was told there was no room there.
Carrie Pratt, executive assistant and manager of communications for School District 27 confirmed Monday storing grad decorations within the district will no longer be an option.
“The district has, as a courtesy, provided the use of Chimney Creek for this purpose. The District has informed affected parties that we will not be providing such storage going forward as we are not responsible for these materials.”
Black Press confirmed Tuesday that 100 Mile House dry grad has not been asked to remove their decorations, which are stored at SD 27’s Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School.
The decision was made at the board level, a trustee confirmed, however, board chair Willow MacDonald has not return calls for comment as of yet.
Brinoni is now looking to the public for help.
“We’re looking for a building: any space that someone may have to help us out.”
If they are forced to pay for storage the cost would likely use up half their fundraising dollars, she added.
This year will be the 32nd year Williams Lake has hosted a dry grad event. Brinoni said she and her husband, Michael, have been in charge of Dry Grad for several years and believe it is a special experience and an important one for students and the community as a whole.
“We want our kids to be safe and to have something to look forward to,” said Brinoni, noting students also feel connected to the event because they help raise money and prepare for the night throughout the year leading up to grad.
“They own it, it’s theirs. There are just so many positive things about it. And it’s inclusive. Everyone gets to come. We don’t shut anyone out.”
For more information, please contact Michael and Angie Brinoni at 250-267-6532