Project Grad is a nationally recognized alternative to stem the excessive and reckless parties (often including drugs and alcohol) students tend to gravitate to after graduation ceremonies. Project Grad events vary from school to school but typically include all night activities at a safevenue. It is also the last time students have a chance to hang around with people they’ve known during their school careers. This year, the senior’s Project Grad will be an overnight party at Main Event Entertainment.
Project Grad takes a tremendous amount of effort, time, and money to pull off, but without an adequate amount of volunteers to help organize the event, it can’t happen.
While the high school seniors are mostly unaware of this, it is a community that helps organize Project Grad. Many people are involved- parents volunteers, local businesses donate money, school administration support, the PTA involvement and funding, and the students themselves who attend.
“The minimum amount to pull off a successful Project Graduation event runs from $5,000-$25,000 depending on the number of students and the event facility,” PTA parent Casey Magnuson said. “It takes dozens of volunteers to solicit sponsorships, sell tickets, plan and implement fundraising events, and to (if necessary) chaperone the event itself. The volunteer hours run into the thousands by the time the event is finished.”
It takes an entire year to orchestrate a successful Project Grad, so volunteers for the next graduating class need to be gathered and planning should begin in the spring semester for the following year. This is because there are many variables to each class including, size, cultural makeup, date of graduation, and budget. If a majority of students don’t buy tickets, the fundraising committee has to take up a much larger task. The fundraising for the class of 2014 was a stake sale, where students were required to sell a wooden stake decorated with the class of 2014 theme for $20 each.
“I think there’s always a concern about fundraising, and the supplemental fundraising has really been helping,” Assistant Principal Mr. Ben Peterson said. ” I don’t think the staking project brought in as much revenue as [the PTA] had hoped, but the cookies and other sales really picked up the slack.”
Ultimately, the largest obstacle is planning because every circumstance for every class is different. The best way to offset this is with an adequate amount of volunteers.
“I think there were lessons learned this year because it was put together later,” Mr. Peterson said. “A big part of it is consistency. We didn’t have it last year but we’re having it this year so we’re not sure exactly what goes into it.”
The PTA is currently looking for parent volunteers for the Project Grad for the class of 2015.
Parents that are interested in volunteering for the class of 2015 Project Grad should contact PTSA President Ms. Amy Conner at: