Celebrating graduates safely in FD

Family holds drive-thru graduation party

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Siblings Marisa Hamilton and Austin Salgren recently graduated from college and their family held a “drive-thru” graduation party on Sunday at Flannery Tax and Bookkeeping. Hamilton earned a degree in accounting from Buena Vista University, while Salgren received his supply chain management degree from Iowa State University.

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When life hands you a global pandemic just months before two of your kids graduate college, you make lemonade and hand it out as friends and family pass by for a drive-thru graduation party.

That’s what Kathy Salgren, of Fort Dodge, did on Sunday for two of her children — son Austin Salgren and daughter Marisa Hamilton.

This month, Austin Salgren graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in supply chain management. His sister, Hamilton, graduated from Buena Vista University with a degree in accounting. The family celebrated this weekend with a “drive-thru” graduation party in the parking lot of the family’s business, Flannery Tax and Bookkeeping, 912 First Ave. N.

“I just felt guilty they weren’t going to get to walk at graduation,” said Kathy Salgren. “It’s kind of a big deal to graduate college, so I felt like we should do something. We’re kind of a party family.”

The party was originally scheduled for May 17, but cold weather and rain caused a change.

Kathy Salgren invited friends and family to come by the alley and parking lot behind the family’s business, to drive by and say hi or to park and visit from their cars. Cups of lemonade and snack trays in the ISU and BVU school colors were passed through the windows to guests.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Austin Salgren said of being done with school.

Now that’s she’s graduated, Hamilton will be working at Parker Law Office.

Austin Salgren is applying for jobs to start his career.


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