Emma Schafer, of Red Deer, will be graduating from Hunting Hills High School. (Photo contributed)

Emma Schafer, of Red Deer, will be graduating from Hunting Hills High School. (Photo contributed)

Graduation signs reappear on Red Deer lawns

One way to recognize graduates

Graduation signs reappear on Red Deer lawns

Graduation lawn signs continue to be a trend for 2021 graduates.

Last spring when pandemic put a stop to graduation ceremonies, parents were surprising their teens with the signs commemorating their achievement.

Hunting Hills Grade 12 student Emma Schafer found out her parents got her a sign last week when her mom posted it on social media.

“I got a notification and saw it on Facebook,” said Emma who saw the signs on lawns last year, but didn’t expect to get one herself.

“One of my neighbours wanted to bring me a bottle of champagne because she saw the sign. She felt bad that we might not have a normal grad.”


Her mom Sandra said as parents, they just wanted to celebrate the class of 2021 as much as possible.

“They definitely are the class of resiliency throughout this whole pandemic. These kids know and breathe the word pivot. They are so strong and hopeful. I’m proud of these kids knowing how well they have handled everything with grace and acceptance,” Sandra said.

Emma said the sign means a lot. When she saw them on the lawns of graduates last year, she was sad that they didn’t get the ceremonies they expected, but also “super proud” of them.

“Being in high school, I know how hard they were working to graduate.”


Red Deer photographer Jennifer Donnelly, of Donnelly Photography, said she sold more than 1,000 graduation signs last year. Most went to local graduates, but some were shipped to British Columbia, Manitoba and even the United States. She also made signs for a few graduation classes.

“There are still signs out there that people are displaying. Even in the winter, I saw one person had their sign in the snowbank, right on top,” Donnelly said.

Last year she ran the Grad Yard Sign Campaign to recognize the achievements of grads which raised over $6,700 for Red Deer Food Bank.

This year $10 from each sign will go to support local youth sports programs, or charities.

She said the signs are an example of the unique things that came out of the pandemic, and a way to honour graduates.

“It’s something that will be out on the lawn for a little while, but I think it will be with them always.”


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