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Dry grad finds new home

Pen High's Dry Grad Committee has had to find a new venue due to the current labour action affecting use of school facilities.

The festivities will now take place on June 26 at the Memorial Arena, thanks in large part to the generosity of the community and the city.

"Every year the Penticton community comes together to fund and stage this dry grad event and in light of current circumstances we've even felt more grateful for the response to our needs," said Lyndsay Blais, parent chair of the committee. "I hope the public will thank merchants who display "dry grad supporter" window signs."

Donations of money, services and materials start coming in early for the annual dry grad, typically held in the high school gym.

But the committee did not budget for a venue change when the planning started last fall.

Faced with a rental quote of $4,800 for the arena, the committee initially considered scaling back the event.

"Fortunately, a few days ago, we received a city grant to offset 60 percent of the cost of the arena, followed by a few more cash donations," said Blais.

The grads will begin their festivities at the formal prom. After 11 p.m., Berry & Smith Trucking has donated drivers and school buses to transport the students from the prom at the Penticton Lakeside Resort to the arena.

The teens will change from their formal wear and begin the all night party with music, amusements and even a hypnotist.

A parent corps of 40 will provide security, food services, clean up and other logistics through until dawn on June 27.

Headlining the event are the Vancouver-based indie soul band the Boom-Booms, former Penticton grad Colby Ramsay and DJ Erica Dee.

"It will still be a great send off for the kids in a good environment," said Craig Henderson, who does publicity for the committee.

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