Grad liquor money stays in community

In our May 9, 2011, issue we printed a letter from Ward Stamer, the parent of a 2011 graduating student at Barriere Secondary.  Mr. Stamer was trying to right a wrong that he felt was more worthy of the effort involved.

The Dry Grad Fundraising campaign held each spring by the Liquor Distribution Branch allows BC Liquor Store customers to support Dry Grad celebrations in their communities.  The contributions by liquor store customers are added to funds raised by parents, students and teachers who work all year to raise funds for dry grad activities.  Last year the Barriere Liquor Store raised in excess of $3,800 yet because of an unfair School District 73 policy only $420 was paid to the Barriere Dry Grad committee.  Mr. Stamer wrote, “This year the Barriere Liquor Store raised approximately $2,750 – a significant sum in a small community.”

His complaint was that “these monies raised in rural liquor stores must be pooled with larger, more populated centers when those higher populations do not share any other fundraising monies with the rural schools.”

After receiving the proverbial ‘runaround’ from the School Board and the Liquor Distribution Branch, Mr. Stamer  submitted his letter to this newspaper.

Last week he called to let us know he was “more than happy” with the results.  Mr. Stamer had received a letter that day from Mr. Terrence S. Sullivan, Ph. D., Superintendent, of School District #73.

Mr. Sullivan wrote: “Your letter regarding the distribution of funds for dry graduation raised by BC Liquor Stores was distributed to members of the Board of Education at its meeting of May 2, 2011.  It was directed to me for response.  This matter has also been brought to my attention by Trustee Joanne Stokes.

As you may be aware, the School District does not sponsor dry grad nor does it have any direct connection to dry grad.  The district has agreed to facilitate the donations from BC Liquor Store customers for dry grad to the volunteer Dry Grad Committees in each school.  We have suggested to BC Liquor Stores that they deal directly with the schools in each community but for a number of reasons they have indicated they cannot do that.

This past week I received the statement of money for Dry Grad for this year raised by each of the liquor stores within the school district.  As a result of a review of the process with BC Liquor Stores for raising these donations, I have determined that we would try, to the extent possible, to distribute the donations to the school in the community where the funds were donated once the funds are received by the school district.  This will mean that the funds raised at the Barriere Liquor Store will go to the Barriere Secondary Dry Grad Committee; the funds raised at Clearwater Liquor Store will go to the Clearwater Secondary Dry Grad Committee; funds raised at the Logan Lake Liquor Store will go to the Logan Lake Secondary Dry Grad Committee; funds raised at the Chase Liquor Store will go to the Chase Secondary Dry Grad Committee; funds raised at the Westsyde Liquor Store will go to the Westsyde Secondary Dry Grad Committee; funds raised at the North Hills Liquor Store will go to the NorKam Secondary Dry Grad Committee; and funds raised at the South Shore Liquor Store will be dispersed among the four south shore Secondary school’s Dry Grad Committees.”

Thank you Superintendant Sullivan.  And a big thank you to Mr. Stamer for taking the initiative to make sure that something that was broken, has now been repaired.