Signs may soon be decorating front lawns around central Alberta in recognition of this year’s high school graduates.
Donnelly Photography, of Red Deer, has started producing custom-designed lawn signs for $40 each, with all proceeds going to the Red Deer Food Bank.
Painted Light Photography, of Lacombe, is doing the same thing for the Lacombe Food Bank.
Photographer Jennifer Donnelly said she spotted online posts about lawn signs celebrating graduates in the United States and wanted to something similar here.
“It’s very uplifting and it’s really just acknowledging all the hard work those students have done to get to where they are,” Donnelly said.
“It’s just a way to have the community come together and lift them up, and at the same time, raise some money for the Red Deer Food Bank,” she said about the signs, which come with a lawn stake.
Shawna Henderson, of Red Deer, ordered a sign for her son Spencer, who is missing out on Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School graduation activities because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Everyone wants to cross the stage and get their diploma and get their photos with their friends in their caps and gowns,” Henderson said.
“I’m feeling bad for the 2020 class. They’re not going to be having any celebration, or safe grad, or be able to finish off school with their friends like every other graduation class before them has.
“They don’t have a way to finish off their school career.”
She said there’s been no official word about graduation from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, but there obviously won’t be a big ceremony on June 29.
The family ordered Spencer’s graduation photos this week, which were taken in February. His suit jacket was ordered just before the pandemic shut down every Alberta school.
“It’s sad for them,” Henderson said.
She hopes graduates will still be able to access caps and gowns for a few days in June to take photos with family, and said perhaps in the fall, a graduation event could be held.
Unfortunately, by that time, students may already be away at college or university and will be unable to attend, said Henderson.
“I think the majority of kids want to have something, even if it’s on a smaller scale.”
For lawn sign information, visit Donnelly Photography on Facebook.