The 12 potential graduates at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School are well on their way with fundraising efforts for their graduation in Baker Lake.

Shanae Piercey carefully sweetens the sweets as Wally Kalluk carefully guards the secret ingredients during a Valentine’s Day fundraiser for the potential graduates at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School in Baker Lake on Feb. 14, 2019. Photo courtesy Olivia Ullyot

The group is being helped along by teacher Olivia Ullyot who said, to date, the Grade 12 students are doing an exceptional job.
Ullyot said it’s often a year-long task to raise enough money for the grad fund.
She said the group needs to raise about $6,000 to cover the celebration weekend, which includes the dinner, prom and decoration costs.
“Our grads come up with all the fundraising ideas themselves,” said Ullyot.
“We hold a meeting every month to plan our monthly fundraiser and they pretty much take it from there.”
Student Carla Kaayak, 18, said they held ticket draws in December and were selling cookies during the talent show.
She said they also held a catered dinner, which was a big success.
“So far I’ve taken part in all the fundraising activities and I’ve enjoyed it,” said Kaayak.
“It’s something I have to do, but it’s still been fun and I like taking part. We’ve been fundraising pretty fast and we’re almost at our target goal now.
“We’re going to keep going and try to raise a bit more so we can have grad pictures and grad rings.”
Ullyot said the group needing the catered dinner actually sought out the potential grads and they did a great job in making the most of the opportunity.
She said the local housing authority approached the students and asked them to host its annual catered Christmas dinner.
“The grads came out in full force and prepared a turkey-and-ham dinner with the works, set up the gym and fed 62 people for dinner that night,” said Ullyot.
“They did a complete and wonderful job.”
The students can continue to fundraise until the teachers leave for summer holidays.
Ullyot said every potential grad is encouraged to take part in at least one fundraising event.
She said, so far, they haven’t encountered any “slackers,” everyone’s pitching-in and doing their share and, as of Feb. 15, they were only $1,200 away from the $6,000 mark.
“This year’s group of potential grads is really strong and, for the most part, they’re good attenders with a good focus, so I think we will see a lot of these students, if not all, make it across the stage.
“Our school doesn’t do Bingo to fundraise for the grads, so they all get to participate in everything they do and they all have a say in the planning.
“Moving forward, the grads are looking to run a canteen over a weekend, although nothing has been confirmed yet, and they’re also going to be planning a Family Fun Day for later on in the spring.
“I’m quite happy with the job they’ve done so far, as they’re really a fun group to work with, they do most of the planning and work, and I just have to be there to make sure it all gets off the ground and everything runs smoothly.”

Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News

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