CALAIS, Maine — A dunk tank, courageous local celebrities and donated food will all be a part of the fun Friday at the Washington County Community College’s “Graduation Can Due.”
From noon to 5 p.m., all kinds of activities on campus will help students raise $10,000 in cash and food donations for local food pantries. In April the Maine Community College System announced it would match the amount raised by the college’s student senate up to $10,000.
Area residents are encouraged to bring food or money donations and their throwing arms to the campus. Sitting in the dunk chair will be Calais police Officers Dave Claroni and Bob Fitzsimmons, among others. The college is trying to get other celebrity dunkers as well and have asked City Manager Diane Barnes to participate.
For those who are not interested in getting wet, there will be a volleyball challenge. The college is looking for teams or individuals to show up and participate.
The students have placed food collection containers outside area stores and on Tuesday were on the radio at WQDY-FM in Calais promoting their cause. They also had a canoe outside the radio station where people could deposit food donations.
Joyce Maker, former WCCC financial aid director, who happened to be strolling past the radio station Tuesday morning, said she would be there on Friday to play volleyball. Maker said it was a cause she believed in.
“It is something I don’t think that we’ve been challenged at the community college to do for a long while and I think all of the retirees of the community college should help out,” she said.
Fran Tracy, WCCC’s director of student life, said the campuswide event comes at a good time to collect food for the pantries, as the indefinite shutdown at the Domtar pulp mill in Baileyville could increase the need.
Student Joe Small of Harrington, who graduates this year, agreed.
“With the current situation it is needed and it is a good plan and, hopefully, we can max what they are looking for,” he said of the donations.
Molly Ramsdell of Sanford, a first-year student at the college, said she had volunteered her time because she had family in the area. “I think it’s a really good cause to help families in need now,” she said.
Tracy said she hopes former graduates of the community college will step forward and help.
“They lived here at one point and we know that they probably had a good experience here and, hopefully, they want to give back,” she said.
The students hope to reach their goal by graduation day on Friday, May 15.
Anyone who wants to donate can call 454-1054 or call WQDY-FM at 888-855-2992.