Nanaimo Dry Grad party will continue

The Nanaimo Dry Grad Society has the manpower needed to start planning the annual year-end party for graduating students.

The group recently sent out a plea for volunteers to step up and fill empty executive and sub-committee positions so work can begin on organizing the huge party for graduating students.

Only half a dozen people had signed on to help by late November, which meant that the event could not have gone forward. But at the society’s Nov. 29 meeting, more stepped up to the plate.

Jenny Webb, a former director with the group, said about 35 people turned out to the meeting and she gave up her executive position to allow new blood to take over leadership positions.

She credits recent media coverage for the spike in interest.

“I think having those articles out there was really refreshing and it really generated the response,” she said. “Some of the people stepped up knowing that while one child is graduating, they have another child coming through.”

The society has provided Nanaimo youth with a safe, alcohol- and drug-free graduation celebration for the past 24 years. About 900 graduating students from Nanaimo’s public and private schools (and Ladysmith Secondary School students), as well as 300 volunteers, take over Beban Park complex for an entire night.

“It’s about saving lives,” said Webb. “It’s so nice to see kids from all the different schools come together at one venue. They can all celebrate and share at the same time and same place.”

The night’s festivities include bouncy castles, ice skating, water sports, rock climbing, food, movies, music and prize giveaways, thanks to donations from local businesses. Please visit

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