Students still dancing despite school board's decision

By Reg Froese
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

After many months of presentations, decisions, and disappointments, Garden Valley Collegiate students in Winkler, Manitoba, still feel like dancing. Now looks like they're getting their wish.

The Winkler Youth Task Force has offered to put on an all expenses paid dance for the students. This isn't exactly how the students wanted things, but they took what they could get.

At first, the Youth Task Force had offered to put on a dance, but the students wanted the school's support and they wanted the dance to be a school activity. Historically, school dances have not been allowed at the Collegiate. Over the past year, the students of GVC have made a series of proposals and presentations, culminating in a request for school board approval for such an event. But to their disappointment, the school board voted against the dance. However, the Youth Task Force's offer still stood so students returned to them and the community.

Then, early one Monday morning in April, GVC school president Justin Zacharias received a phone call from 92 CITI-FM, a popular Winnipeg rock station. They offered to put on a dance for the student body. Another Winnipeg radio station, HOT 103.1, made the same offer, both stations mainly getting involved for publicity.

But, Zacharias turned down these offers, because he agreed with the community: "The community thought we didn't need a radio station to tell us how to have a good time."

The students agreed to the Youth Task Force's offer, knowing they had the support of community businesses. Although some youth were disappointed with the decline of the radio station's involvement, Zacharias feels confident in his decision.

So, now the community and businesses are behind the dance and are putting it on. MoSound in Morden has volunteered DJ's and equipment at no cost. The date for the dance has been set for June 4, and it will be held at the local arena.

Check out the related story by Eric Unrau of
Garden Valley Collegiate Winkler, Manitoba