NewsLocal NewsLee County


'Make new memories': Alumni donate caps, gowns to help with Fort Myers High School shortage

Ft. Myers High School cap and gown
Posted at 6:07 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 05:31:41-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Seniors at two Lee County high schools are struggling to get caps and gowns for their students. Mariner and Fort Myers high schools are short by 100 because of supply chain issues.

A Facebook post shared the dilemma and alumni responded in a big way.

"I just can’t imagine crossing that stage in anything but that traditional ceremonial garb that you should be wearing at graduation," said 2006 Ft. Myers High School graduate Allison Downey. "High school graduation is just a pivotal moment in our lives."

When Downey saw the post on Wednesday morning, she called her parents right away. She told them to go into her childhood closet, grab her cap and gown and donate it to the high school.

Her brother, who graduated in 2002, is also looking for his cap and gown.

"I mean, it was kind of a no-brainer to give it away," Downey explained. "It’s been a while since they’ve been worn, but I think they’ll be put to good use this year."

Good use for seniors who have waited four years to make this memory. Both high schools will have graduation on Saturday.

"The memories we’ll always have in our hearts, so if you’re comfortable with letting go of your cap and gown, give it to somebody who can go and make new memories with it," Downey said.

Herff-Jones, the company in charge of providing the caps and gowns, sent a statement to Fox 4. It says in part,

Mariner High School should receive its final shipment by Wednesday evening.

Prior to the statement from Herff-Jones, the school district spokesperson says donations from staff and alumni helped students. The district put together a contingency plan to make sure every student has a cap and gown.