Shine, Style, Study for Denim, Diamonds, and Diplomas

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The Brock Leaders Citizenship Society (BLCS) is to host the third annual Denim, Diamonds and Diplomas Gala on February 3, 2018. The event is in aid of bursaries for graduating students attending the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) Academy.

The DSBN Academy, which opened in 2011, is a school specifically for first generation students from the Niagara region. At first the academy only had Grade six and seven classes, but today DSBN Academy offers classes from Grade six to Grade 12.

Their mission is to provide “an environment of high expectations where first-generation students are encouraged, supported, and empowered to distinguish themselves academically and be competitively eligible for admission and then graduate from a post-secondary institution.”

The gala will be at Club Roma from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. As suggested by the name, those attending the event are encouraged to wear their best denim.

“We ask the participants to wear denim, as we want the event to center around the DSBN students we are raising money for, and make it easy for anyone to attend. We also saw this as an opportunity to break away from the traditional, ultra-formal gala attire, and promote a fun, more casual atmosphere,” says co-organizer Meagan Gloor.

To start the night off there will be a cocktail hour in which attendees can enjoy some hors d’oeuvres. During the hour, students from the DSBN Academy will do a musical performance. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a three-course prime rib dinner. “The night will also feature live entertainment and a silent auction with prizes donated from local businesses. At 9:00 p.m., we will draw the winning raffle ticket for our diamond and sapphire ring valued at $3,450,” Gloor adds.

In the past two years of hosting this gala, the BLCS has been able to raise $46,500 for the DSBN Academy. As a result of the money that was raised, every student that graduated in the class of 2017 was able to get a $250 bursary to help finance their education.

The goal for this year’s gala is to raise $20,000. In order to reach that goal BLCS will be relying on the sale of raffle tickets, the silent auction proceeds, donations from sponsors and community members, as well as ticket sales. So far there have been 120 tickets sold. The hope is that this number will double before the day of the event, so that there will be an equal number of attendees as last year.

While the organizers of this event are all graduating this year, they hope that the event can live on and continue to be successful. “This event is so important as we want to encourage our future generation to attend post-secondary education and assist them in reaching their goals. We want to help them cover some of the costs associated with post-secondary school such as residence/living, food, textbooks etc.,” says Gloor.

Zach Harrietha, former student of the DSBN Academy and current student of Brock University, plans on attending the gala this year. “I believe it is important to go to still show support for The Academy because of all the opportunities the school has provided me it is important to give back. As well I am a part of the planning committee for DDD and want to see all the hard work that everyone has done see the event come to life.”

Harrietha is very grateful for his time at DSBN Academy. “It has greatly impacted my university experience by getting me prepared for the workload, teaching styles and responsibility it takes to attend university.”

Those interested in supporting students just like Zach can purchase tickets for the event  at http://efnniagara.dsbn.org/event/single?id=4 or by emailing the committee members at denimdiplomas@gmail.com. Tickets for the events are $65 each or $600 tfor a table of ten. Tickets for the raffle are $5 and can be purchased through the Education Foundation of Niagara’s office or through members of the BLCS. Raffle ticket holders are not required to buy a ticket to the event or attend it.

-Ana Ferriera, Assistant News Editor 

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