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Column: A post-pandemic celebration of Airdrie's graduates

In one week from today, we will officially open to conditions we have not enjoyed since March 2020. We will be able to visit who we want, when we want and even be able to shake hands and hug loved ones.
Airdrie opinion

In less than one week, we will officially open to conditions we have not enjoyed since March 2020. We will be able to visit who we want, when we want and even be able to shake hands and hug loved ones.

You truly don’t understand the privileges of such simple actions until they’ve been kept from you for an extended period of time. 

I, myself, probably won’t overdo it for the first couple of weeks. I’m a bit on the cautious side, so it will be a few more weeks until I brave larger crowds. But I’m looking forward to attending some events this summer and perhaps being able to host a barbecue or two. I’m hoping my old poker buddies start up our weekend games again. Those games have always been more about discussing the world’s problems and how we would fix them than the actual cards in our hands.

As the businesses have begun to slowly return to regular services and capacity, you can already see the difference that many are making on the community. You need look no further than this week’s issue of the Airdrie City View to see how some are already supporting our 2021 high school graduates. 

Despite coming out of COVID-19 restrictions in time for summer, it unfortunately wasn’t in time for this year’s graduating class to have a traditional dinner and grad celebration. I’m sure that many of them will figure out a way to connect with each other throughout the summer, but the opportunity to enjoy an event that includes everyone has unfortunately gone by the wayside. 

In past years, my wife Lois and I always arranged to produce a self-standing grad publication. Now that we no longer own such resources, I approached our publisher, Cam Christianson, about doing something similar this year. He didn’t hesitate. As you can imagine though, such a large-scale project isn’t cheap. We needed help to pay for it all. It was amazing to see so many local small businesses and some local leaders step up to ensure that it could be done. 

Along with this week’s newspaper, there should be a copy of this special Grad 2021 publication. It contains photos of all of this year’s grads from all of Airdrie's high schools, as well as some special messages from their respective principals. There will also be extra copies available at the high schools as well as a few hundred extra copies at the Airdrie City View office for those who want extra copies for aunts, uncles or grandparents. This is a free gift to the Class of 2021 from your local businesses. 

Besides our publisher, Cam Christianson, we’d like to thank Mayor Peter Brown, Airdrie-East MLA Angela Pitt, School Trustees Todd Brand, Melyssa Bowen and Jim Forrest, All Fitts Auto, the Airdrie Registry, Kensington Insurance, Cam Clark Ford, Academy of Learning, Airdrie Dairy Queen, Shopper’s Drug Mart, McKee Homes, Emerald Homes, Manor Realty, Pharmasave/ The Store upstairs, Smart Auto, Save-on Foods, Airdrie Carpet Cleaning, Airdrie Honda, Bell Dental, Paros on Main, Tim Hortons, Hot Water Leisure Spas, Xtreme Donair, Chateau Flooring, Fountain Tire, Rob’s No Frills, Airdrie Autobody, Airdrie Windshield & Glass and Airdrie Dodge.  

On behalf of all sponsors and your community as a whole, we wish all of this year’s graduating classes the very best that the future has to offer. We also wish to remind everyone that although this pandemic appears to be coming to an end, that local businesses still need our support.... just as we still need theirs.