Fundraiser for ARHS Facemasks for graduating seniors

by beth on May 21, 2020

Post image for Fundraiser for ARHS Facemasks for graduating seniors

Above: A gofundme site is asking for help with an effort to safely “Unite ARHS GRADUATES Class of 2020” (image from fundraising page)

A group of community members are seeking to fund face masks for the close to 350 member graduating Algonquin seniors. The initiative is part of an effort to allow seniors to hold some kind of Graduation celebration.

The fundraising page explains:

Recently you may have seen a petition to help raise our voices in support of a more collaborative approach to the Algonquin Regional High School Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony. We are happy to share that our voices were heard (nearly 1,000 of them). Thank you very much for that support!

Final details have not yet been revealed, but we believe it will include a (partially) in-person, socially distant and safe event! Because of this, we are looking to raise funds to provide masks for each of the nearly 350 students. They have been custom-designed for these students and TawkMasks, a MA small business, has agreed to prioritize and expedite delivery of our order so we have them in time at no additional charge.

In addition to keeping these students safe, the mask is also a memento they can continue to use and keep to remember these unprecedented, albeit unique, times. We realize these are financially trying times for many families. We are looking for financial support in any amount from friends, community members, and businesses (a worthy charitable donation). Sponsorship opportunities are available to local businesses that are interested as well, please contact Dinagreenwald@yahoo.com.

Our goal is to raise $5,200 for the cost of the masks and any remaining additional funds will be donated to the senior class fund in support of a special homecoming event in their honor at the end of this year. Please consider making a donation to ensure a safe and celebratory commencement for the ARHS Class of 2020.

Thank you for your continued support! Be safe!

To support the cause you can click here

Editor’s Note: I had hoped that I could combine this with information on finalized plans for the graduation ceremony. The ARHS administration planned to discuss the details at last night’s Regional School Committee meeting and hoped to issue an announcement today. Unfortunately, I have to run this afternoon, so can’t follow up on that today. Stay tuned.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Al Ford May 22, 2020 at 7:49 AM

This was a tremendous effort by Stephanie Cappello and others! Thank you! Hopefully it won’t be all for not.

There has been a tremendous (parental) groundswell to honor our graduating seniors with more than just a lonely time slot diploma pick up one kid at a time. Yes, that’s the current plan for the kids of Northboro and Southboro. Sign up for a slot, drive to the school, student picks up diploma off a table and walks across a make shift stage, and then drive off. Only the student can exit the vehicle. No cheering, fanfare, just get back home to your basement as fast as you can.

Towns all over the country and specifically in our area are stepping up to honor their kids as they achieve this important milestone in their lives. Why not Algonquin?

Some examples in our backyard:

Hopkinton- Rolling rally car parade through town and by all of their neighborhood elementary schools, viewable on their local TV. They have published the parade route so the entire town can show support and ‘decorate the route.’

Marlboro- Posters of graduates on town green (rumor has it, this made the NY Times, pro pictures taken in front of the big panther as kids receive diplomas.

Wellesley – Town wide parade – Residents encouraged to stand and wave from the safety of their front lawns.

St. Johns – Rolling Rally – tons of spirit, teachers there to wave and say good bye to the kids.

Wachusett – Rolling Rally through 5 towns. Yup, 5 of them, we only have 2.

Shrewsbury – The grand-daddy of ’em all. A. 2 separate award nights to be broadcast, Friday night fly over with congratulations banner, B. “the last ride” June 3rd, a car parade through campus for SHS staff to applaud and say good bye to the kids. C. Graduation part one June 4th, speeches and student recognition, D. Monday June 8-12 in person awarding of diplomas. E. Graduation part 2 – July 25th, in person Graduation if public health allows. **THE ALGONQUIN SUPERINTENDENT HAS A SENIOR ENJOYING ALL OF THESE FESTIVITIES***

Why are these districts enthusiastically celebrating their class of 2020, while Algonquin is not even doing the bare minimum? Many of these kids are heading off to college campuses in the fall (hopefully), some are going off to serve our country in the military, and others leaping right into the workforce. For some this is the only graduation they will have.

We compete with these districts in the classrooms, with test scores, and on the athletic fields. We strive to beat them. They are running laps around us right now and its sad.

Come on Algonquin administrators, you are better than this…..right?
It’s not too late for our towns to celebrate these graduates in a festive, safe, and spirited way!!
Let’s Go T-Hawks!!!!

Reply

2 Kelly Hurley May 22, 2020 at 11:37 AM

A normal graduation ceremony, or even one approximating a normal ceremony, isn’t in the cards this year given the covid-19 crisis. I also understand, and agree, that the safety of the students and the community at large must be the highest priority. We are all in uncharted waters and I appreciate Administration and other decision-makers are in a very difficult situation in trying to recognize and honor our students for all of their hard work over 13 years of school while at the same time keeping them and the community safe.

But I must say that I speak for myself in expressing my profound disappointment with the current plan, which in our opinion lacks creativity and fails to honor our students in any meaningful way. In my opinion, and the opinion of many other parents and students, a sign-up genius called “diploma distribution” is beyond anticlimactic to be brutally honest, makes this process even more isolating and sad for these kids.

We can do much better than that.

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