Oftentimes, when Sam Larche needed an R, he made do with a P.
“You just put some tape on the letter and you can colour that tape and turn the P into an R, it works,” said Larche, a Grade 11 student at Reynolds secondary.
Since last year, Larche has been one of the students responsible for changing the message on the letter board sign out front of Reynolds secondary. The sign has been there since the 1980s and was overdue to be replaced.
The number of missing and broken letters has presented multiple challenges for Larche.
“We don’t have enough R’s, which is ironic for Reynolds,” Larche said. “We ran ‘Twee recycling’ over the holidays, that was my [improvisation], and before that we had left ‘Tou de ock’ on the sign for about 24 hours before I was reminded to go back and fix it.”
Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock fundraising, as many know, is an institution at Reynolds.
Needless to say, Larche, like principal Tom Aerts, is excited about the new digital sign installed on Tuesday.
Purchased with $40,000 raised through the various efforts, the new sign is two-sided, with colour screens, and has been placed along McKenzie Avenue. The old sign, which sat on Borden just a few meters in from McKenzie, has since come down.
“The sign [is] visible to drivers going both ways on McKenzie and we feel that’s going to be important for the community,” said Reynolds PAC chair Rhonda Sylven. “A lot of parents don’t drop their kids off at Reynolds but they are part of the school community and will be kept updated by the sign just by driving along McKenzie.”
It’s also a way for all of the community to be apprised of the many happenings at Reynolds, said Sylven.
“When residents drop off their recycling here on Saturdays they ask when the next music performance is, so this will help,” Sylven added.
During the two-week Tour de Rock period, for instance, Reynolds has events nearly every day.
Messages can be multiple and updated from computers in the school or at home on a smart phone, said Aerts.
“Updating the [old] sign has been labour intensive and time consuming, so [we’ve looked] forward this,” Aerts said.
The fundraising began before the PAC had even planned on it, when last year’s 50th anniversary alumni event turned an unexpected profit.
Reynolds IT students then designed an online fundraising board with squares starting at $1 that increase in $1 increments to $280. Do the math, and the equation adds up to $40,000, enough to cover the purchase and installation of the new sign.
Among the various donours was the 2017 Reynolds grad class, part of an ongoing grad tradition. That class will be commemorated on a plaque at the bottom of the sign.
Money also came from individuals and families, with note worthy contributions from Dr. G Kersten, Futurebook Printing, Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band, Obee & Co, Passion Sports, Reynolds music, Sensational Sound, Team Sales, Thrifty Foods (Saanich Centre location) and Lifetouch photography.