Show puts missing children in spotlight

Spectrum Community School students raising money and awareness with Thursday's show, Finding Hope

Spectrum Community School teachers

Spectrum Community School teachers

It’s any parent’s worst nightmare for their child to be kidnapped, and students at Spectrum Community School are hoping to help stop child abductions with their latest event.

On Thursday, Spectrum is hosting Finding Hope, an elaborate variety show to benefit Child Find B.C., a non-profit dedicated to finding missing children and preventing child abductions.

Crystal Dunahee – the mother of Michael Dunahee, who disappeared from the Blanshard Park Elementary playground 25 years ago – is the organization’s president, and the variety show falls just three days before Child Find B.C.’s annual Keep the Hope Alive Drive.

“Another teacher came to me, and he had been in touch with people from Crystal Dunahee’s camp,” said Tom Gordon, whose social justice students are behind the planning of the variety show. “He thought, what if Spectrum did something for this cause.”

Every year, the Grade 12 social justice class tries to address a local issue and a global issue, and the students decided to take on missing children as its local cause. While the social justice class ended last semester, Gordon’s students have essentially been working on the show as an extracurricular project.

“The course is over and they don’t see me anymore, but we’ve kept in touch because they want to be a part of this,” he said.

The students each have an innate desire to help others, evident in the amount of work they’ve put into the evening.

“The people that we’re helping are not the same age as us, but they’re really close, so we feel connected with them,” said Spectrum senior Lara Cannito. “We feel how important it is to help and ensure that all the kids are safe and aren’t missing.”

“It’s really to raise awareness,” said classmate Taylor List. “The kids are our future, so maybe they’ll see what we’re doing and grab onto that and do something else to raise awareness for something like this.”

Approximately 40 students from numerous classes – such as business, food, music, drama – have had a hand in the organization of the show. They’ve assembled a diverse entertainment lineup, including performances by the Spectrum Dancers, the Marigold Elementary choir, a jazz combo and short films from the video arts class.

“There’s definitely variety,” said senior Kelseyy Griffin, who recruited many of the show’s performers. “We have a student who’s doing a guitar performance and a rock band from Claremont, and then a band from Esquimalt. Two students are doing a comedy act, and so is another.”

Crystal and Bruce Dunahee are set to speak at the show about Child Find B.C. and their ongoing efforts to help find missing children and educate parents and kids on how to stay safe from child abductors.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Child Find B.C., as well as money raised from a silent auction. Tickets will be available at the door and cost $10 for adults and $5 for students. They’re also offering a $20 group/family pass for a maximum of five people.

The March 31 show starts at 7 p.m. and the students are certain it will be a stellar show for a very worthy cause.

“It’s really to remember them and to know that something like this could happen to you and to help prevent this from continuing,” said senior Tamara Mitrafanova.



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