COON RAPIDS: Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another, and that includes this year’s Coon Rapids-Bayard graduates. Main Street Coon Rapids recognized the loss the seniors are experiencing by not getting all the traditional “senior experiences” and decided to rally around the seniors by placing a personalized banner for every senior on the light poles downtown.
“Our graduates are definitely not getting the senior year they had planned,” said Quinn Wurzer, who co-chairs the MSCR organization team that organized the banner project.
Twenty-five banners, one for each senior, were designed with graduates’ photos and names and then hung on downtown light poles by the Coon Rapids Municipal Utilities staff. They will remain downtown for several weeks and then presented to the graduates as a keepsake.
“We wanted to support our CR-B graduates and celebrate their accomplishments,” Wurzer said. “They are an important part of our community, and we hope that these banners will show them how much they are valued.”
Wurzer and her task force implemented the banner project in a matter of weeks which included fundraising. Their goal was to raise $4,000 to pay for the banners and the hardware. In a quick week, the community stepped up and donated $6,000. The bulk of the funds came from Karl Chevrolet Stuart and New Way Ford who each donated $2,000 to the projects. The extra funds received will be saved for a similar project next year for the 2021 CR-B graduates.
“Our CR-B community always pulls together for their own, and this was just another example of our Crusader Pride,” Wurzer said. “This is a very uncertain time for everyone, but especially to these graduates who have looked forward to this time in their high school career. Thank you to everyone who donated to this project and made our seniors know how much they mean to us all.”
In addition to the banners, MSCR has organized a Scoop the Loop CR-B graduate night for this Friday, May 15. Coon Rapids has held a Scoop the Loop cruise every Friday since April 3 but will dedicate this coming Friday’s ride to the community’s graduates.
“Graduation commencement was originally scheduled for this Sunday,” said MSCR Executive Director Katie Mason, “which is why we want to honor the seniors during the May 15 Scoop the Loop cruise.”
For the first half hour (6 to 6:30 p.m.), the community is asked to park their cars in the side angle parking on Main Street downtown with their flashers on and congratulatory posters hung on vehicles. The CR-B graduates will parade around Main Street in the backs of pickups, in convertibles or in golf carts so everyone can see their smiling faces. Organizers stress the importance of one graduate per vehicle to practice social distancing rules. Those parked to watch the parade need to remain in their vehicles.