Nfld. & Labrador

Clarenville High School grads receive personalized cakes — 111 of them

Although school graduations and proms have been called off across the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the high school in Clarenville has tried to make the best out of the situation.
These are the 111 full-sized graduation cakes that were custom made for the Clarenville High School Class of 2020. (Submitted by Paula Russell)

Although school graduations and proms have been called off across the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the high school in Clarenville has tried to make the best out of the situation.

Saturday night was supposed to have been the school's graduation at the Eastlink Events Centre. 

John Russell is the guidance councillor at Clarenville High School and has been involved in organizing the grad for 13 years. His daughter, Taylor, is graduating this year, and is the chair of the student grad committee.

On Friday, Russell said a local businessman called him to say he had 111 full-sized, personalized graduation cakes to drop off at Russell's home. 

Through the power of social media, Russell said his daughter got the word out to graduates and their parents about the sweet confections. 

How do you deliver 111 cakes?

"We posted some pictures of our living room with 111 cakes spread out on the floor in alphabetical order," Russell told CBC Radio's Weekend AM

"Bit by bit throughout the day, parents and graduates made their way to our doorstep ... and we socially distanced in a safe way, passed their cake out, waved and said hello, had a little chat. And it was really a wonderful day."

Taylor Russell said the grad committee also organized a number of online activities for graduates to take part in this week. 

"It would [normally] just be a fun-filled and busy week," she said.

"That's why we wanted to make sure we had some activities — because if not — then it would become a little bit sad. There were some high expectations for this week ... we would have been decorating for a full week straight almost. We'd have to miss classes to go over to decorate, because it's such a big space to fill." 

While the ceremony, grand march and a dance couldn't be a reality, Russell said the grad committee held virtual activities that included a trivia contest, and a social distancing scavenger hunt.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Weekend AM

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