Grads reach fundraising goal
The Merritt Secondary School graduates received a $14,000 boost in funding for this year’s dry grad, which will feature a four-hour cruise around the Vancouver harbour.
The money was raised during Flavours of India, where 405 tickets were sold.
“We’re doing good for funds now,” said Mara-Lee Crack, dry grad committee chair. “It’s been wonderful. We’ve had a lot of commitment from parents and the community.”
The dry grad planning committee also held a raffle for gas, hosted an apple pie sale and exceeded expectations from the Flavours of India, where between $10,000 to $12,000 was anticipated.
The grads are looking to celebrate on June 16, when they will board one of two buses at 7 a.m., heading to Stanley Park where they will attend the Vancouver Aquarium, then to Capilano Suspension Bridge, a four-hour boat cruise around the harbour and then to the Spaghetti Factory for a dinner. The group is scheduled to return to Merritt at 3 a.m. the next day.
Das Kandola, co-organizer for the fundraising event, said the costs for putting it on were extremely low because of community volunteers.
“They made it simple, but very nice,” he said.
“Some of the costs, such as the food, came in lower because it was all volunteered.”
Several members of the graduating class practiced dancing in Kandola’s basement for approximately one week before performing a high-energy routine at the dinner, to which the crowd responded enthusiastically.
His graduating daughter, Samreeta, returned from a trip to put the dance together.
The event was such a success that the graduating class surpassed their $25,000 goal for the grad celebration, Kandola said.
“We want the grads to leave some kind of legacy project that they can be remembered by,” he said about the use of any excess funds.
The Canadian Punjabi Roots Club, the Merritt Sikh Society and the Merritt Secondary School Grad Committee helped open the doors to the celebration.
“We’re very proud to belong to such a small community that absolutely just keeps giving,” Kandola added. “Merritt, in general, is a very giving community.”
The cruise alone is estimated to cost around $15,000.
Approximately 90 students are signed up to attend the event.
Each ticket to Flavours of India — which was held on April 21 — cost $35. A 50/50 draw, and silent and live auction also contributed to proceeds.