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'Chem- free' grad set to go


The “chem-free” grad party, the annual night of fun for graduating Fort High seniors, goes tonight following the formal graduation ceremony at the Ice For Kids Arena.

Set for the '52 Canadians Arena next door, it will run from 10 p.m.-4 a.m.

The funds raised for this year's event was impressive, said teacher and head organizer Brian Gustafson.

“Total funds raised this year have reached $30,000, far outreaching all previous years,” he noted.

“This is the result of a terrific team of parents and very giving community members.”

This year's activities will include inflatables through Fun-Tastic of Thunder Bay, a “Name that Tune” and food-eating contests, relay races, video games, games of chance, and a photo booth.

New to the “chem-free” grad is magician Chris Funk, who will perform during the first hour of the evening.

In addition, FASD Community Partners are providing “mocktails” as a special treat to the graduates.

“We end the night [by] distributing prizes to each grad consisting of a $50 gift card plus a prize package,” Gustafson said.

“The prize tables this year are incredible,” he enthused.

Gustafson also lauded the group of parents that helped him organize this year's event.

"This year has seen a dedicated group of parents go out into the community and request

Please see 'Chem-free,' P3

donations, purchase prices, plan food for the night, organize the games, set up the venue, organize the volunteer schedule, along with many other tasks," he remarked.

“In the end, the parents play the pivotal role in planning this night and a big thank-you goes out to everyone involved.”

Gustafson explained the importance of the “chem-free” grad and the reason he has continued to organize it for the past 14 years.

“The ultimate goal . . . is to provide a safe, substance-free environment for grads to celebrate this milestone and for them to wake up the next morning ready to start the next stage of their life,” he said.

“Too many stories exist of something tragic happening to a graduate on the night of their graduation and we do not want that to happen here,” he stressed.

“With that, grads get to be kids again and have fun with their peers one last time,” Gustafson added.

“It is wonderful to see everyone have a great time on this important night.”

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