The class of 2005 at Howe Sound Secondary School will be staying away from Vancouver this year - and the decision is making their hard-earned funds go twice as far.
The dry grad co-ordinating committee, which is made up of graduating students and parents, have come up with activities to keep grads partying until 5 a.m. Sunday (May 29). But unlike the last few years, grads have opted to cut out a cruise to avoid spending as much as seven hours traveling from Squamish to Whistler to Vancouver and back to Squamish.
The leftover party money earned through bottle drives, raffles, and the sale of lollipops, pizza and sweat suits will go toward two benches commemorating students who would have graduated this year. Bench plaques will commemorate Alison Roberge who died Saturday May 14 in a rafting accident and Ian Barbour who died Jan. 31, 2004 in a vehicle accident on Hwy. 99.
The 2005 graduation festivities begin Friday (May 27) with a graduation ceremony at Brennan Park Leisure Centre. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. but at 6 p.m., a tea party will refresh invited family and friends arriving early to get the best seat. After the ceremony, grads get a chance to try their luck with a fun casino, and an auction using funny money winnings.
The grads get into real partying Saturday (May 28) at 3:30 p.m. with a formal mocktail. A procession of graduating students and their dates will be presented before entering the event. Formal pictures will be taken and refreshments served. The party will then board a bus for a dinner at the top of Whistler Mountain followed by dancing until 1 a.m.
The crowds will then return to Brennan Park for games and dancing until 5 a.m.
Watch for The Chief's special Class of 2005 section in next week's paper.