With the scheduled sunset graduation and senior prom still in question, Cameron High School seniors received a special send-off last Friday.
As part of a parade for the CHS Class of 2020, hundreds of onlookers gathered along Cameron streets as seniors streamed by in a motorcade comprised vehicles adorned with memorabilia.
“It’s something we can look forward to so we can at least have that experience of senior prom, graduation, but as of right now. I can live with this. If this was our last moment, I could live with it for sure,” Cameron senior Zach Jones said.
Parade Organizer Emily Robinson, mother of Kandice Robinson, said preparations began three weeks ago and as more began to pick up steam as more parents, students and organizations got on board. During Friday’s parade multiple fire engines from the Cameron Fire Department, ambulances from Cameron EMS and patrol vehicles from the Cameron Police Department escorted seniors through town. Robinson later thanked Mayor Darlene Breckenridge and Tim Wymes, Cameron community development director, for their work in making the parade possible.
“These kids worked so hard and I do not feel they were getting the recognition. So much got ripped out from under them,” Robinson said. “They missed out on prom. They missed out on walking the halls for the last time – when they put on their caps and gowns and walk through all of the schools … My cousin Christy Holland emailed the mayor and told [Breckenridge] her idea, which was the parade. The mayor agreed and from there it just took off.”
Robinson said she received RSVPs from more than 70 seniors the week before the parade. By Friday the number seemed to significantly increase with many sharing vehicles. Robinson said each participating senior received a gift basket as well as commemorative T-shirts by CM Graphics.
“I felt a bunch of mixed emotions, but it was a lot of fun. It was good to see all of my friends again,” said Christian Bartz, who enlisted in the Marine Corp. and begins basic training in September. “It was crazy. A lot of people change in just three months. It’s good to see everyone again. I had a lot of fun with my friends. It was a good year, all the way until the very end. This parade just topped it all off.”
For senior Jade Wilson, last Friday felt like a class reunion although they had only been apart for three months. Although thousands of Cameron residents received their diplomas prior to the CHS Class of 2020, their journey is truly unique to any other.
“This was exciting – something special that has never been done before,” Wilson said. “I really enjoyed it. It was fun to see the crowd. I was a little suspicious at first and not knowing what to expect. I thought it was cool. There was a really good turnout … We went out with a bang.”
Wilson added she was grateful for the parade. She said the best part of Friday’s festivities was being back together with her fellow seniors.
“This is something we will always remember as a class. It brought us together. We were all talking and enjoying being back together after not seeing each other for a long time because of the quarantine,” she said.
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