Westview Secondary’s grad class of 2020 is doing good in their community. Zia Newton is the grad who came up with the suggestion for the donation. And Lily Ferguson then wrote the letter to the grads to follow up with the idea. (Michelle Ferguson/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge students turn grad disappointment into kindness

Grade 12 students from Westview Secondary donated $5,000 to the Friends In Need Food Bank

Westview grad class of 2020 turned a disappointing end of their school year and for some their academic career into a positive this week.

The class of 125 students took the money fundraised for their graduation and gifted that to the growing number of local residents turning to the food bank for help amid COVID-19.

The virus may have put the kybosh on their graduation ceremonies and prom, but it didn’t stop the Grade 12 kids from finding a silver lining in what grad committee called “uncharted territory for everyone.”

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

Ferguson believes all the students, their families, and the school should be “very proud,” of the kind gesture.

“Our fundraising was limited as most was to happen after spring break,” she explained. “So, when things took a turn and we were told that there would no graduation festivities, the student grad committee had to come together and decide the best way to use the already fundraised money.”

They pondered the idea of a personal gift of $35 to each grad or the other option was to donate to a local charity within their community. Charity it was – and specifically the Friends in Need Food Bank.

“The parent grad committee and school would like to honour the maturity and resilience the grads have shown through this process,” Ferguson said.

“I would like to… mention a big thank you specific to the grads and parents who participated in and helped with these fundraising events (bottle drive & Raise the Funds Frozen Foods). Without these participants, the money we’re donating would not have been raised,” she added, noting $800 was a donation to the grads from Augustine Soil and Mulch Ltd.

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• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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