Chem Free Grad likely to receive traditional town support

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

The town of Fort Frances could be making another donation to help ensure this year’s batch of graduating students have a safe and fun Chem Free Grad.

At a meeting of the Administration and Finance Executive Committee on Tuesday afternoon, the committee members received a request letter submitted by Brian Gustafson, the staff advisor for the Chem Free Grad committee at the high school. In his letter, Gustafson noted that this year will mark the first party to be held after two years of cancellations due to COVID.

“After a two year absence due to COVID-19, a dedicated group of parents is assembling to once again provide a Chem Free Grad party for the graduates of Fort Frances High School,” the letter reads.

“This will help guarantee a safe, alcohol and substance free environment in which to celebrate their children’s high school accomplishments.”

The request from Gustafson says that the Chem Free Grad party is being scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at the Memorial Sports Centre, where it has traditionally made use of the rink surfaces and auditorium space for events, games, activities and food. To that end, the letter said it was requesting a donation of $1039.02 to cover the cost of the rental fees for the arena and auditorium spaces, which would include HST.

Town treasurer Dawn Galusha explained the request is “usually” an annual request, with the amount having increased over time due to subsequent increases in rental fees for town facilities.

Council members on the committee were quick to agree to the request,

“We have an extensive past practice built up on this one, and it’s a really good thing for our whole community, ensuring the safety of our grads,” said Councillor Andrew Hallikas.

“It’s a nice way to support our grads, so as in the past, I think that we should go ahead and do this.”

The item still needs the approval of council, so it will return to the council chambers as an agenda item for the April 25 meeting for the committee of the whole.