Volunteers needed for dry grad planning

NANAIMO: Volunteers needed to ensure largest year-end party for graduating students goes forward.

Volunteers are urgently needed to ensure the largest year-end party for graduating students in Nanaimo goes forward this June.

The Nanaimo Dry Grad Society needs about 14 more volunteers by Thursday (Nov. 29) to fill empty executive and sub-committee positions so that the organizing can begin for the annual event.

“We’re going to try to not pull the plug,” said Wayne Cooper, society chairman. “If there is no further people able to pick up and volunteer, the society can’t go forward. If it rests on too few shoulders, people may say, ‘OK, that’s the last year.’”

Interested community members are encouraged to attend the society’s next meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in Wellington Secondary School’s library.

Cooper said planning for the event, which was attended by about 850 students last year, has usually started by now, but the society had a poor showing last month at the meeting that decides who does what for the year.

“We have six signed on and it would be good to have about 24 signed on,” he said. “Last year at this time we had 12.”

Two of the vacant executive positions come with cheque signing responsibilities and with only one person able to sign cheques at this time, the society cannot pay the deposits on rental orders, which are typically booked now, Cooper said.

“We’re basically stalled,” he said.

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) and 300 volunteers take over Beban Park complex for an entire night and the society organizes numerous activities for students such as rock climbing, scuba diving, kayak races, karaoke, movies, music, prizes and inflatable toys.

Cooper said traditionally volunteers are parents and their families, but anyone can help during the year. While the event is operating from 8 p.m. on June 29 until 5 a.m. June 29, minimum age of volunteers is 23.

For more information, please go to www.nanaimodrygrad.ca.