Very late into the school’s dry-grad event, as sunrise approached, a sleepy Hamzah Sami suddenly perked up and had every reason to celebrate his graduation from Kwantlen Park Secondary.
The lucky teen won a raffle for a 2009 Nissan Rogue donated by Applewood Auto Group, as he and more than 200 fellow graduates partied at New Westminster’s Metro banquet hall.
Hamzah’s name was called at around 3:30 a.m. on June 11.
“Everybody was pretty sleepy, just dead, and then there was all this excitement about the car draw,” he recalled. “They chose my lucky number, 96. It was very surreal, I tell you that much.”
Eight years ago, Hamzah and his family immigrated to Canada from Iraq. Next year he’s planning to study criminology at SFU, and the car he won might help get him to classes.
That car-winning feeling for Kwantlen Park Secondary grad Hamzah Sami.— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) June 28, 2022
Here's video of the moment his name was called during the school's dry-grad event June 11.
THE STORY: https://t.co/A75CwIhPOQ pic.twitter.com/Eyc4dLKY82
Deb Imada, a parent-volunteer on the school’s dry-grad committee, chaired by Wendy Duong, said the car raffle was special for the North Surrey school.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time a car has been given away at a Kwantlen Park dry-grad event,” Imada said.
“It was a very special thing for us, and this was one of the school’s largest turnouts for dry grad. We were happy to host 220 of the 275 graduates. For sure, this (draw) helped tickets sales, for more students to come to dry grad.”
To help create a memorable experience for this year’s grads, Imada helped arrange the prize of a pre-owned car from Applewood, after reading about a similar raffle held at a Langley-area school.
“This started my quest to make this a reality for a school from the ‘North’ (area of Surrey),” Imada recalled. “I grew up in this area and realize that often times a certain stigma is put onto the residents of North Surrey, and my thought was that these students are just as deserving, if not more, because of this stigma.”