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  • Fairbury News staff

Grads moved by tribute

Graduates shown along Locust St. Friday evening as cars drove by.

Rather than marching down the aisle last Friday night, Prairie Central High School graduates took a seat along both sides of Locust Street while community members drove by to show support.

The constant parade of cars, golf carts, motorcycles and emergency vehicles lasted for around 90 minutes with an estimated 500 plus vehicles participating in the tribute.

“It was an unbelievable night and something that us seniors will remember the rest of our lives,” said PC graduate Lindsey Hari. “It definitely made up for us not having a graduation.”

Several parents wanted to do something for the seniors on a night when they would have had their actual graduation ceremony to let them know they are not forgotten. After getting permission from the mayor, volunteers made calls and got the community involved.

“None of us would have ever thought it would have turned out this big. The graduates were overwhelmed by the community response,” noted parent Annette Hale.

The 2020 senior parents tossed around ideas on a Facebook page earlier in the week.

“While driving through town with Lindsey one day and seeing a basically deserted Main Street in the middle of the day, I suggested it to Annette Hale and Amy Haberkorn,” explained parent Stephanie Hari. “They liked the idea so I contacted Mayor Slagel.”

Hari said SELCAS really gets the credit for making this such an enjoyable experience for the kids. They reached out to fire departments, local police and area car clubs to participate.

“This senior mom is very thankful to live in this community and see the support we got.”

The end of the school year has been anything but normal since in-person learning was cancelled in March, leading to the adoption of distance learning at home. This has been a major adjustment for students, teachers, administrators and parents.

Since the district was not able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony, many are holding out hope that something can take place in the summer if restrictions are relaxed. A graduation event for military students is slated for Saturday, June 6 at PCHS which includes the graduates who will not be around for the entire summer. They will be brought in with families although no more than 10 will congregate due to social distancing.

The high school is making an award video which will feature the annual scholarship presentations and departmental honors.

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