Penticton dry grad moves to arena due to teacher strike

Penticton Secondary School has changed the venue of their Dry Grad to Memorial Arena due to the current labour action by the B.C. Teacher
Penticton Secondary School has changed the venue of their Dry Grad to Memorial Arena due to the current labour action by the B.C. Teacher's Federation.
— image credit: Google street view

Pen High’s Dry Grad Committee has had to find a new venue due to the current labour action affecting use of school facilities.

Dry Grad, as the name implies, is an alcohol and drug free celebration of grads’ achievements in completing high school education. Parents and the community contribute time and resources to stage an all-night entertainment gathering at the school gym of over 300 grads beginning at 11:30 p.m. on June 26. However, due to the labour situation, the school will not be available as in past years.

“We’ve had a tremendous and generous response this year from citizens and the business community with donations of money, services and material,” said Lyndsay Blais, parent chair of the Penticton Secondary School dry grad committee. “However, we did not budget for a venue change when our planning started last fall.”

Faced with a rental quote of $4,800 for Memorial Arena, the dry grad committee had to consider scaling back the event.

“Fortunately, a few days ago, we received a city grant to offset 60 per cent of the cost of the arena, followed by a few more cash donations,” said Blais.

The grads will begin their festivities at the formal prom. After 11 p.m., Berry & Smith Trucking has donated drivers and school buses to transport the students from the prom at the Penticton Lakeside Resort to the arena. The teens will change from their formal wear and begin the all night party with music, amusements and even a hypnotist.  A parent corps of 40 will provide security, food services, clean-up and other logistics through until dawn on June 27. Headlining Pen High’s dry grad event are the Vancouver-based indie soul  band the Boom-Booms, former Penticton grad Colby Ramsay, and deejay Erica Dee.

“Every year, the Penticton community comes together to fund and stage this dry grad event and in light of current circumstances we’ve even felt more grateful for the response to our needs. I hope the public will thank merchants who proudly display‘dry grad supporter window signs.” noted Blais.

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