Community generosity allows Rockin the Railyard 2020 to gift each senior

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rockin the Railyard 2020 is the parent-led group that organized fundraising activities for the senior grad party planned for May 24 graduation night. As previously announced, the pandemic and social distancing requirements did not allow for a senior party to safely happen. Michael Mezmer would have performed for his 10th consecutive year, but was stymied by travel restrictions. It was subsequently learned that Rocky Mountain College would not open the venue for anything until after June 1. Also, the last major fundraising events had to be scrapped. Many businesses had setbacks these past few weeks, and Master Lube’s Grad Day and War of the Walls had to be cancelled as well. Master Lube is and remains, committed to the cause but the economic downturn was too much this year. Further fundraising, given the economic realities also seemed bleak.

But because of the generosity of the Laurel community, each senior will be getting a graduation present. Each graduate will receive a class t-shirt designed by Alex Amestoy. The cost of printing and supplying the shirts was donated by Action Electric and Dynamic Designs. Including money raised through the year and donations that came in through these past 2 weeks, each senior will get a $100 cash gift. Arrangements for a Class Graduation Picture are planned. In addition, the 37 students who helped with fundraising activities through the year are participating in a prize raffle of items purchased for the end of year party.

A dedicated group of parents and guardians met monthly starting last summer through this past week and were creative and hardworking volunteers. Organizing fun raffles and delicious bake sales was just part of the time, talent, sweat equity and out of pocket costs they contributed. Seeking partnerships with local businesses and scheduling and staffing events could not have happened without them. The cooperation and support of the staff of Laurel High School was beyond measure. The trust that Mrs. Zahara and Mr. Heimbigner placed in RR2020 was appreciated.

The business community has been a key supporter of Rockin the Railyard even before the pandemic. Restaurant partners included Dominos Pizza, Five on Black, Fowl Play, KC’s Palace, the Pizza Ranch, and Taco Johns. In kind donors included Coca Cola, Harmony Coffee Shop, MoCones, Reese and Ray IGA as well as others who were committed to supporting the party itself. Thanks also to the Laurel Chamber of Commerce and the Laurel Outlook for their support as well. Additional donations to the Rockin the Railyard cause came from Albertson’s, Alpha Omega, Booster Club, CHS, Cop Construction, Gainan’s, First Interstate Bank Foundation, the Knights of Columbus, Sebanye-Stillwater, St Vincent’s Healthcare, Town and Country, Western Security Bank, Woods Power Grip, and many more. As many have seen, the Senior story boards were able to be viewed because of the Vue and Brew, the Front Porch, Dynamic Designs and the Post Office.

Most of all, the families and friends of the Class of 2020 have shared their gift through donations. The support from individuals who just wanted to help in any way was gratifying and humbling. Small amounts, large amounts, and support of the fundraisers through the year made it possible that any gift was pulled together for the kids.

This is an amazing group of seniors. Their accomplishments: State Champion Boys and Girls Golf, Girls Soccer, National Finalist in We the People, State Finalists in Boys Soccer and Football, Girls and Boys Basketball, Speech, Drama, Music just tell part of the story of why we are proud of them. They are academically gifted and are recipients of numerous scholarships and awards. This is the class that was born after 9/11, collectively lost Sam Melling and now graduate during the Covid 19 pandemic. They lost many signature events of a senior year and their graduation will be a little surreal. Yet here they are, resilient and emerging stronger from it all.

While the Rockin the Railyard Committee wishes it could have done even more for our kids this year, it is with gratitude and love that we give what we can despite the frustrating crash to a halt that we experienced. We realize, also, that it is through the collective generosity of the people of Laurel and the wider community that helped bring a golden lining and for that we are ever grateful. Please join us in congratulating the Class of 2020 and wish them all the success in the future.

From Rockin the Railyard 2020 Committee


Upcoming Events

Monday, June 1, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, June 4, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber
Monday, June 8, 2020
2nd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., at Wood's Powr-Grip, 908 West Main St., use the west entrance, open to the public. 
Monday, June 8, 2020
2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library


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