Honoring 2020 grads in creative ways

Kristina Blüm Justice
Staff Writer

As schools across the country are faced with the challenging question of what to do about graduation ceremonies this year, the communities of the Owens Valley have gotten creative with finding ways to honor the class of 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sober Grad Night was canceled due to the pandemic. However, the Sober Grad team still wanted to do something to celebrate the Class of 2020.
“This would have been our 40th graduation,” said Connie Caton of the Sober Grad team. “We’ve never not been able to have Sober Grad, but we want to make sure the graduates are still honored for all their hard work.”
Sober Grad Night is an annual party that takes place after the graduation ceremony at BUHS. The purpose of the gathering is to give graduates a way to celebrate their achievement in a safe, alcohol free environment. Since its inception, BUHS has not suffered a DUI-related graduation fatality.
This year, however, looks a little different, since large gatherings have been prohibited due to the pandemic. The Sober Grad team decided that a nice alternative to the annual party would be to give each student a gift bag, and they are reaching out to the community for help to fill the bags with gift cards. There are 111 students graduating from BUHS this year, and so far the team has only gathered 25 gift cards. They need to collect enough for all the students by May 27.
All of the “big” items, such as a new laptop, bicycles, and dorm-friendly items like microwaves, will be raffled off to members of the Class of 2020.
The community is invited to donate gift cards and gift certificates to local businesses to go into the bags. Gifts can be dropped off at the Calvary Baptist Church office Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a mail slot on the door through which gift cards can be slipped. For questions, call Connie Caton at (760) 920-8261.

The city of Bishop has partnered with the Associated Student Body at Bishop Union High School to purchase special banners with each student’s name to hang up on Warren Street. The banners will have the names of students from BUHS, Palisades and Jill Kenmont Boothe schools.
The total cost for all of the banners is $750. As of press time Monday, only $100 had been gathered. The ASB will cover the difference for whatever money cannot be collected by donations, however, if donations exceed the amount needed for the banners, all of the additional money gathered will go directly to the ASB.
Donations can either be made online at https://bishopparksandrec.sportsites.com or over the phone at (760) 873-5863, ext. 21. Donations are needed this week so that the banners can be ordered right away.