The Howe Sound Secondary (HSS) student dry grad committee is solidifying graduation plans, and residents have numerous ways of helping the teens have a safe and alcohol-free night.
"There are countless fundraisers underway," said committee chair Brittany Swanson. "It's inspiring to see how well we work together when fundraising. Everyone pitches in to help out, our past bottle drives are a great example of this. We're working very hard towards a memorable evening, and hopefully our efforts will pay off."
This year's weekend festivities start with a Friday boat cruise and a Rotary Club sponsored casino night. On Saturday afternoon, the grads are invited to a mocktail party at Brennan Park Leisure Centre, then it's on to Vancouver for a dinner dance and a return to Brennan Park for activities. The event is capped off in the very wee hours of the morning with a breakfast for all grads. Since 1991 the dry grad committee has held two or three large fundraising events every year, such as selling compost, firewood and coupon books, providing safe drives and holding bottle drives and fashion shows.
The community can help graduates celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event by buying chocolates at the downtown Liquor Store, buying compost, or scratch and win cards, taking advantage of the dry grad's safe drive program or attending a garage sale at HSS on Saturday (April 1) beginning at 8 a.m.
Residents wishing to donate to the garage sale can drop off items at the school from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday (March 31). People interested in purchasing compost can call the "compost hotline" at 604-815-4038, said parent committee chair Deb Kent. Those wanting to organize a safe drive can all Heather Chapman at 604-898-8252.
The dry grad program has been very successful in keeping youth safe, said Kent, and last year's fundraising events resulted in approximately $45,000 for festivities.
"This event is only possible with an incredible amount of parent and student volunteers," she said. "We are always looking for people to come and help whether it is in the planning process, fundraising or with the set-up and supervision of the weekend." Anyone wishing to help grads celebrate safely can call 604-898-5500.