Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)CELEBRATING IN STYLE Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Graduates arrive at McLean Mill in style on June 12, 2021. You can find more photos from the grad cruise online at www.albernivalleynews.com and in our June 30 print edition. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Graduates arrive at McLean Mill in style on June 12, 2021. You can find more photos from the grad cruise online at www.albernivalleynews.com and in our June 30 print edition. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Graduates arrive at McLean Mill in style on June 12, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Graduates arrive at McLean Mill in style on June 12, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Parents of the late Daniel Butt rode on a motorcycle in all three heats of the ADSS Grad Cruise on June 12. This year would have been Daniel’s graduating year. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Parents of the late Daniel Butt rode on a motorcycle in all three heats of the ADSS Grad Cruise on June 12. This year would have been Daniel’s graduating year. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Grads rolled up in all kinds of vehicles on Saturday—even a Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department truck. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Grads rolled up in all kinds of vehicles on Saturday—even a Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department truck. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ADSS graduates Bobby McKenzie and Mason Bodnar pose for a photo in front of a memorial for Daniel Butt. This would have been Daniel’s graduating year. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)ADSS graduates Bobby McKenzie and Mason Bodnar pose for a photo in front of a memorial for Daniel Butt. This would have been Daniel’s graduating year. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Grads arrived at McLean Mill in style on June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Grads arrived at McLean Mill in style on June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ADSS grads pose for a photo at McLean Mill on June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)ADSS grads pose for a photo at McLean Mill on June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ADSS grads left the multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)ADSS grads left the multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
A car in the ADSS Grad Cruise on Saturday, June 12 loses several balloons. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)A car in the ADSS Grad Cruise on Saturday, June 12 loses several balloons. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ADSS grads left the multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)ADSS grads left the multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Grads arrived at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in style on Saturday, June 12. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) graduates celebrated their prom in style this year, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Graduates cruised around town in three separate “heats” on Saturday, June 12, dressed to the nines. This was followed by an afternoon of activities at McLean Mill National Historic Site. Traditionally, grads would gather at one location and form a car parade from there to wherever the prom dance was being held. There was no dance this year, and a large gathering was not permitted under COVID-19 restrictions.

The school’s prom decorating committee started planning events for grads before Christmas 2020, but because of COVID-19, volunteers had to think outside of the box.

“Because we realized they couldn’t have a prom, what we decided to do is incorporate the traditional parade into what would have been their prom,” explained Kristine Mallory, chair of the decorating committee for the 2021 ADSS grad class.

The grads selected an “Enchanted Forest” theme for their prom this year, which led to the idea of using McLean Mill National Historic Site. The site was decorated on Saturday with balloons and twinkling lights as grads arrived. A DJ was on site to provide some tunes, refreshments were handed out and professional photographer Lyndon Cassell was hired to take photos of the grads.

“We wanted to create that ambience of what prom should have been,” Mallory explained. “We wanted to give them that celebration they deserved.”

The grads had some “amazing donations” from the community, said Mallory, including a large donation from San Group.

READ MORE: Corporate sponsor signs on for ADSS prom activities

Volunteers were careful to make sure the event followed all provincial COVID-19 guidelines, with grads separated into smaller groups as they arrived on site at the mill to keep things socially distanced.

This year’s prom also included a memorial for the late Daniel Butt, who was hit by a vehicle while cycling back in 2018. This would have been his graduating year.

READ MORE: Cyclist killed in Port Alberni

READ MORE: ‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

The memorial included several art pieces created by other parents and volunteers. Daniel Butt’s parents also rode in all three heats during the grad cruise.

A formal dinner will take place this weekend for the grads, giving them another chance to dress up and celebrate.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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