Although much of the pomp and circumstance leading up to this year’s high school graduation has been canceled, one yearly tradition will take place albeit different means. In order for the event to be a success, help from the community is needed, the event’s organizer said.

Monica Fernandez, organizer of Operation Graduation Del Rio, confirmed the event will happen, but it will take place online for graduating seniors to celebrate from the comfort of their homes.

Each participating senior will receive one ticket, in order for them to be able to win one of various prizes.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many of the fundraisers for the event have been canceled and Fernandez is seeking help from the community in order to make this event a success.

An online fundraiser has been created for the event, Fernandez said. The fundraiser can be found online through the event’s Facebook page, Operation Graduation Del Rio, or through the direct link charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/class-of-2020-operation-graduation1?utm_campaign=oc&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=crowdrise.

Del Rioans that prefer to make a check donation are asked by Fernandez and the Operation Graduation committee to make the checks out to “Del Rio Operation Graduation” tax number 74-3234323.

All correspondence should be sent to the committee at P.O. Box 768, Del Rio, Texas 78841-0768. For further information or questions, the committee can be contacted at (830) 734 7504 or (830) 719 9177.

All monies raised from the fundraiser will be used to obtain giveaway prizes for the graduating seniors, according to Fernandez.

Since the event’s conception, seniors have received prizes such as ironing boards, laptops and other essential items for life after high school. According to Fernandez, the event has grown each year.

This year has been difficult for the graduating class, Fernandez said, as the seniors did not have prom, powder puff and other events that celebrate the end of their high school career.

“Currently, they are ending in the shadow of a global pandemic. Their final weeks are filled with remote learning, social distancing and mounting uncertainty of what the future holds,” a letter from the committee reads.

For over 25 years, Operation Graduation has kept seniors safe and off roads the night of graduation. The event provides a variety of activities to keep the graduates entertained throughout the night.

Usually this event takes place the night of graduation and this year’s ceremony was previously scheduled for May 29.

Plans for a graduation ceremony are currently on hold, after previous options voted by the graduating class were deemed unlikely to happen as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis continues.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carlos Rios previously said he will regroup with student ambassadors in order to come up with a better solution, before presenting it to the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees on May 18.

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