Students at Cloverdale Learning Centre are still $900 shy of their fundraising goal to put on their first-ever grad dinner.
A dedicated graduation committee has been working to organize the event, taking place this Friday, but fundraising efforts have come up short.
The learning centre is a public high school for students who struggled in, or were removed from, mainstream public schools. The teaching staff offers a flexible, self-paced environment that allows students to achieve at their own speed.
Although the grads have a commencement ceremony every year, followed by refreshments for students and their families, they’ve never before had a grad dinner, according to Wendy MacDonald, an inner city youth worker who works at the centre.
Twenty-six students will attend the dinner, accompanied by their families and staff from CLC. A bus will pick them up from CLC on Friday, June 14, and take the students to White Rock beach for a photo session. They will then be driven to Barrique Kitchen Bistro in White Rock for a four-course dinner.
Between dinner costs, bus expenses, and some decorations for the restaurant, the total bill comes to about $5,300. Much of the cost has been raised already, thanks to the generosity of the Cloverdale community — Cloverdale’s H&R Block gave $1,000 alone. But organizers were still about $900 short when the Reporter spoke to them on Thursday, June 6.
The students at the school have been given a second chance, which not everyone gets, said student Ikponmwosa Eweka. Celebrating graduation, and that second shot, is part of what makes the dinner important to the organizing committee.
It’s doubly important, said Grace MacDonald, as this dinner will set a precedent for future CLC grads. Younger students will have something to look forward to after their final year in school, just like students in mainstream schools.
The dinner will take place this Friday regardless, but the CLC committee is hoping that some last donations will help them cross their fundraising finish line.
Donations are welcomed at the Cloverdale Learning Centre, and can be dropped off at the school, located in downtown Cloverdale at 5658 176 St.