“Don’t mess with Canby.” It’s something we say around the podcast office, because we’ve seen that characteristic in the Canby community time and time again, even just in the past couple years that we’ve been doing what we do.
Whether it’s through fundraising, advocacy, or just showing up with a tool box, Canby comes together when it’s needed, and Canby protects their own.
The coronavirus has been messing with Canby quite a bit this spring, and it’s really been messing with our high school seniors. But on Friday night, the Class of 2020 came out in a bright and bold way to show they are not defeated.
Thank you #Classof2020!! You were creative and kept your social distancing while still seeing the smiles we’ve missed! #BeTheLight #BeTheLightOR #CanbyProud https://t.co/I6sQAM24fI
Starting at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time), the lights of Cougar Stadium were lit in honor of the Class of 2020. Outside the stadium were the seniors themselves, lined up in their vehicles, windows down, smiles on their faces, ready for an impromptu parade.
Seniors Ruby Kayser and Mia Carroll had planned the parade at the last minute and shared the news through social media. They were thankful — and relieved — when many of their classmates showed up.
“It was really amazing to see everyone there in support of each other, but it was also really bittersweet,” Ruby said. “I found myself smiling and tearing up at the same time. Seeing the empty parking lot and the stadium lights glowing made my heart break a little because I knew I wouldn’t be back at the high school as a student.”
At the same time, she said, it reminded her how close the Class of 2020 is.
“The class of 2020 shows up for each other, and it was really cool to see my classmates’ smiling faces tonight,” she said. “I think it was important for us to be there to see the lights, rather than sit at home and see a picture of it online. It made the gesture a lot more special.”
CanbySeniors2020 staying #CanbyPositive and I’m #CanbyProud. Do you see Mr. Winegar near the press box? Fantastic! #Weloveourseniors #BethelightOR @CanbyHighSchool
The school plans to light the stadium at the same time each Friday, and to leave the lights on one minute for every day of the school year that was lost because of statewide school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ruby says the Class of 2020 will continue their tradition, too. They’re asking classmates to decorate their cars next time and are hoping for an even bigger turnout.
“This definitely gives me something to look forward to in quarantine,” she said. “Just seeing everyone’s faces again made my day so much better. It also reminded me that I am not alone. We are all experiencing this together, and at the end of the day, we have each other’s backs.”
Students are also grateful to the school’s administrators, who she said have done “a great job of supporting the seniors.”
The hastily drawn parade route took participants past the stadium, gym, auditorium and around the main parking lot.
One can only imagine the emotions these seniors must have felt, as they passed by the scenes and settings of some of their most cherished memories: accomplishments on the track, field, court and stage, fun times and meals shared with friends.
Dark and empty now, as they would be for the remainder of their time as high school students.
Well, except for the stadium.
Cougar Stadium was bright as day.
A beautiful night to honor our Seniors. #BeTheLightOR #CanbyProud #CanbyPositive #CanbySeniors2020