WHEATFIELD — In an effort to show the area's support for the senior class at KVHS, a group of parents led by Judith Stine have organized Paint the Community Red week, which will culminate with a parade of decorated vehicles containing the graduates. The parade will kick off at the high school following the commencement ceremony, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on June 6. In deference to the social distancing guidelines, the ceremony was already planned as a drive-thru ceremony, taking place in the rear parking lot at Kankakee Valley High School.
"The plan is for the commencement ceremony for this year to start at 4 p.m., with an estimated finish time of 6 p.m.," said Stine. "Each family will be allowed one vehicle to transport student and family and these vehicles only will participate in the parade. We would love to see them decorated and are hoping to encourage the families, friends and neighborhood to come out and cheer on the Class of 2020!
"We strongly encourage everyone to practice proper social distancing at this gathering, but hope to see a strong turnout for our graduating class. It would mean so much to our Class of 2020 who have been through so much this year, to see this rally of support from their community, families, and friends."
The parade will, most likely, leave the high school around 6:15 p.m. with vehicles taking part, heading to the east side of the school to line up along the service road. Vehicles not participating will be asked to exit west onto County Road 400 West. Fire and police units will then lead the parade cars west-bound on State Road 10 toward DeMotte where they will travel west on 15th Street curving onto northbound Halleck and dispersing at 8th Avenue.
"They will, basically, follow the Touch of Dutch route in reverse," said Stine. "Our local police as well as county will assist in guiding us through the lights and stop signs as required."
The route allows for those not living along the path, to find adequate parking along the route to show their support.
Stine said that KVHS Principal Michael Spagna was approached about this and was immediately on-board. They then began reaching out to local agencies to secure both help and permission for the parade to occur. In addition to Spagna, Stine would like to thank Chief Deputy Jason Wallace of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, DeMotte Police Department Assistant Chief Steve Musch, Keener Township Fire Department Fire Chief Tom Fentress, Wheatfield Fire Department Fire Chief Mark Ratliff and Danielle Van Kley.