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Coronavirus: Peachland parents organize physical distancing grad walk on pier

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Coronavirus: Peachland parents organize socially distanced grad walk
Coronavirus: Peachland parents organize socially distanced grad walk – May 19, 2020

Parents of a few Peachland, B.C., graduates are pulling out all the stops to make sure they don’t miss out on their special day, which has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Peachland Pier Grad walk takes place on Saturday, May 30, where a few of the 2020 grads will come together while physically distancing to celebrate their hard-earned achievement.

“Really, I’m just doing it for my daughter because I wanted her to have something special. And if some other kids can come and have a special moment, too, then that’s awesome,” said Vangie Neyedli.

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At first, Neyedli and another parent organizing the event with her thought they’d have about 15 people attend, but that number could potentially balloon.

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“I am a little bit nervous especially once it took over, but if everyone is smart and staying their six-metre distance, it’s really not that different than going for a walk along the beachfront,” said Neyedli.

Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin will also be attending the grad walk to congratulate the grads, with an official to help keep everyone apart.

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“I still believe that we are in very serious times so I do have some concern,” said Fortin.

“I’m sure that because of this, our recreation park director will make sure that people are socially distanced and that things will be set up in such a way that people won’t be close in large groups.”

Meanwhile, Interior Health is cautioning that contracting COVID-19 remains a risk and is easily spread in large groups.

An outdoor walk is only appropriate if it can be kept to under 50 participants and that physical distancing measures are observed,” IHA said in a written response.

For the grads, the walk is a chance to feel special and celebrate their leap into adulthood.

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“It’s really nice for my mom to put it on, it just hits home in the heart,” said Shanelle Neyedi, high school graduate.

“It’s going to be really cool because we have one of my best friends from R.S.S. [Rutland Senior Secondary] who wouldn’t be able to join us otherwise and that’s going to be really exciting,” said Frederieke Grooters, high school graduate.

The Peachland Pier Grad walk is planned for Saturday at 4 p.m., with grads attending asked to keep their distance.

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