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Grad Walk starts Tuesday downtown Maple Ridge

224 Street decorated to commemorate this years graduates
Ella Podulsky of Maple Ridge secondary and Anna Huber of Thomas Haney were decorating trees on 224th Street for grad. (Neil Corbett/The News)

The school colours of every secondary institution in the district will be adorning the main downtown strip in Maple Ridge in honour of this years grads.

UPlan, the Youth Planning Table subcommittee, made up of about 20 students from the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district, spent all day Monday, May 31, decorating 10 businesses along 224 Street, along with the street, with balloons, ribbons, decals, and decorative graduation caps and scrolls.

Grad Walk will start on June 1 where graduates can stroll along 224 street with people in their circle and take photos at their school’s window.

“We wanted to do something special for this year’s grads because they have missed out on so many of the celebrations that should have happened due to the pandemic,” said school board trustee Kim Dumore, who helped facilitate the UPlan.

“This year it was extra important for me to honour the grads as one of them is my own,” added Dumore.

Last year T’s Once Upon a Tea Leaf decorated their front display window with balloons and decals listing grads for the entire district.

“This year we wanted to expand on that,” explained Thomas Haney secondary student Anna Huber, a member of UPlan.

This idea, she said, has been in the works since around March.

“It was hard to kind of plan something like a parade or something, like a big event for people to come to because of COVID, of course,” said the Grade 11 student.

Each business will have decorations in their window and every high school in the district will be represented: Garibaldi secondary, Maple Ridge secondary, Pitt Meadows secondary, Samuel Robertson Technical, Thomas Haney secondary, Westview secondary, Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge Christian, students in the Connex Program, and Continuing Education.

Each school will have their own display with balloons in their school colours and decals listing all the graduates. Trees along the street will be decorated in colourful ribbons and in the branches will be grad caps and scrolls.

READ MORE: Parent doesn’t want 2021 grads to be forgotten

It is an attempt to give these students some recognition for all of their hard work, explained Huber and fellow UPlan team member Ella Podulsky in an email.

One of their team members even created a personalized SnapChat filter that will be available for anyone wanting to commemorate their achievement with a selfie.

READ MORE: Class of 2020 celebrated at T’s in Maple Ridge

Any photos posted of this event that tag UPlan’s Instagram, @uplan.rm, can be entered to win a $100 visa gift card provided by Community Services.

Grads can also pop into Taco Fan for a special treat and be entered into another draw.

Huber is hoping the event can run for a couple of weeks at least, to give all grads a chance to get downtown and have their photos taken.

“We want this to be special,” said Dumore.

“And we hope that the grads will feel they are.”

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Tyler Stevenson who will graduate from Maple Ridge secondary this year, and Michael Paulson who was a 2020 MRSS Grade, decorate the frame of an outdoor patio on 224th Street. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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