Fayetteville print store sees influx in 'Class 2020' celebratory sign sales amid COVID-19

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville image and sign company is seeing quite the influx in requests from families wanting to make their senior's final semester a little more special, despite the strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Wesley Horne, a graduating senior from Cape Fear High School, has missed out on some special moments his last semester.

"It was kind of different not going to prom. And then, I had a senior trip planned right after that, so I didn't get to go to that either. So, it was just kind of depressing, a little bit, I guess you could say," Horne said.

Horne, like many seniors statewide, is having to look elsewhere for memories made his final year of high school.

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For him, it came in the form of a surprise graduation sign from his aunt and a football jersey from junior year from his parents. Both were surprises that put a smile on the young man's face.

"Real touched about how much it meant to my parents, also. And the jersey, that touched me a lot. I'm not going to lie, I shed a tear. It kind of got me, but it meant a lot," Horne said.

The graduation sign, that was placed in the front of Horne's home, was purchased at Allegra: Marketing, Print and Mail, a dual-branded franchise with Image 360.

Bruce and Katheryn Sykes, the vice president and president of the print shop respectively, say they've already completed more than 30 orders in the last couple of weeks.

This uptick in graduation signs is keeping the couple busy, especially since they've had to cut their staff and hours because of the pandemic.

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Despite the struggles, the couple is looking to make it easier for families to celebrate their seniors by reducing the cost of graduation signs.

"It's regularly about $45; we're doing it for $10. And it includes any high school in Cumberland County," Sykes said.

To help sustain their 35-year long business, the Sykes have pumped out COVID-19 related signs, stickers and banners for restaurants, medical facilities and other businesses.

In addition, they've adapted by also offering to sell masks and building and installing plexiglass.

"We're like everybody else, we're in survival mode. But, we're going to survive and we're going to come out stronger on the other end. I think everybody is," Bruce said.

Even in survival mode, they're hoping this affordable way to recognize seniors can light up the faces of students like it did for Horne.
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