News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Community can help honor Class of 2020

Many of Sisters’ trademark events are not happening this summer — but there is still plenty left to celebrate, including the “made in Sisters” class of 2020.

The local nonprofit Citizens4Community and other volunteers are hoping all of Sisters will unite behind a new project that affirms the City’s small town atmosphere while honoring hometown high school seniors.

The SHS Class of 2020 Street Banner & Keepsake project has been in the works for about a month, and the banner project fundraiser officially kicked off Monday, June 1, with an online Go Fund Me campaign and a goal to raise $1,600.

C4C, the City, SHS, students, parents and others are collaborating with the goal to gift each graduating senior with a keepsake banner.

Organizers envision the festive, cheering effect of having more than 100 banners —one for each senior — flying from lampposts throughout downtown Sisters on or around Graduation Day, June 12.

Banners are set to feature students’ first names and photographs. After they are displayed, the banners will be offered to the graduates as keepsakes.

C4C’s youth board member, Olivia Bertagna, first suggested the project as a way to boost community spirit and recognize local students during what has been a difficult period.

“COVID-19 has taken so much away from local students,” said Bertagna, a junior at Sisters High School. She said the senior class especially has missed out on many once-in-a-lifetime activities.

“This project will show the seniors their community loves and supports them through this time. It gives them something new to be excited about. We really want to give them and the whole community something to celebrate,” Bertagna said.

Bertagna joined the C4C team this past winter. As youth board member, her goal has been to find ways to strengthen ties between students and the greater community.

She had seen the banner idea implemented well in Sweet Home. Bertagna said she was inspired by that and further encouraged by C4C’s recent Let’s Talk! discussions, where the focus has been on finding ways to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 and to help people, businesses and community morale in general.

C4C has donated $1,250 as seed money toward the project, which will cost about $2,850 in total. The project team hopes to raise the additional $1,600 this week. Any donation amount is welcome, and donations are 100 percent tax deductible.

“This type of fundraiser unites us as a community as we come together to honor our senior class,” said Bertagna. “I hope to see the community want to help and to give the seniors something special as their high school experience wraps up.”

The fundraising campaign can be found online at Go Fund Me under the title: "Sisters High School 2020 Graduate Banners.” Any money raised beyond the $1,600 goal will be set aside for future collaborative projects with the high school.


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