Hanna Grove hopes to give her fellow classmates a proper send-off after the Parker High School graduates learned the school district’s in-person graduation celebration is canceled.
The school district announced in a Friday letter to graduates and families the district wouldn’t be able to safely hold an in-person celebration for graduates.
“Therefore, with disappointment, we must notify you that our schools are not going to be able to host a modified in-person graduation on Saturday, July 25, 2020. We have a commitment and expectation to maintain and promote the health and safety of our greater school community, and with the continued unknowns regarding COVID-19 in the nation, hosting a large gathering of people would be irresponsible,” the letter reads.
Grove said she was disappointed.
“I felt like they could’ve been doing more. They could’ve thought of different options or pushed it back a bit. I think they could’ve done something to give us a little closure after our senior year got completely uprooted,” she said.
Grove took matters into her own hands and hopes to organize a parade for Parker graduates Saturday, July 25. She got the idea after seeing similar parades for birthdays and other graduating classes.
Grove talked with city officials about what she would need to pull off the event. A GoFundMe was started with the goal of raising $2,000 to cover the cost of insurance, permits, decorations and “goodie bags” for seniors in the parade, Grove said. Event insurance alone will cost $532.
As of Tuesday, $200 had been donated, and local entertainment company Event Head Productions is donating a sound system for the parade.
A large number of students have expressed interest in the parade, and many classmates have thanked her for her efforts, Grove said.
The parade would be for only Parker graduates and charter school students who received Parker diplomas, but Grove said she would be willing to help Craig organize an event, too.
If not enough money is raised, GoFundMe will automatically refund the money to donors by August, Grove said.
She’s not sure she’ll be able to raise enough money to make the parade happen, but Grove said she wanted to try for her classmates.
“I saw nobody else was stepping up to do anything, so I thought, why not give it a shot,” she said.
“I’m really just hoping the community will support and help by giving donations or sponsorships. I don’t think we should have to fund our own graduation, but if we want something to get done, we might have to.”