When it comes to celebrating graduation, a longtime, local tradition helps keep Hood River Valley High School seniors safe, sober and sharing a great night of fun. The annual all-night event, to be hosted this year on June 7, is called Project Graduation.
According to Kathy McLean, co-chair of the event along with J.R. Windsor, parents in the valley have always stepped up to make the party a success.
“It happens with the help of a lot of donations and volunteers,” said McLean. The event aims to host the entire graduating class.
This year, a small organizing team is already hard at work identifying parent tasks that include goals in fundraising, volunteer coordination, student registration, decorating, security, music and entertainment, food, memory wall displays, raffle prize collection, clean-up and community appreciation.
What the team seeks now is a few additional parents and adults who willing to help in those areas.
The senior all-night party is held each year at the Hood River Elks Lodge, ensuring plenty of space free from tobacco, drugs and alcohol, in which the graduates can share their last night as HRV students together.
Last year more than 130 local businesses contributed cash or products to help make the event a success. Students are asked to contribute $35 toward the evening, which includes games, a DJ, raffle prizes, food, a photo booth and memory wall and dancing. Last year’s event featured a “casino,” and more activities are being planned.
“Our goal is to bring in enough support to cover our costs and leave a little starting money for next year’s parent coordinators,” said Windsor. The 2013 party started with a little over $2,000 from last year’s event.
McLean and Windsor recognize that not every parent can attend meetings or take on a leadership role, but note that many jobs require only a few hours of donated time. Less-demanding contributions can include anything from sending in a donation to volunteering to supervise for 2-3 hours during the event.
For those who have a little more time, committees are still looking for co-chairs and pre-event task leaders. Meetings will be held at 6 p.m. in the HRVHS Commons on Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10.
For more information call McLean at 541-387-3569 or visit the Project Graduation 2013 Facebook page.
Donations may be made out to Project Graduation 2013; mail to 1767 12th St., Ste. 178, Hood River, OR 97031.