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Project Graduation: You don’t need to be a parent to help

Yes, it’s not even Groundhog Day, but this is a good time to start thinking about graduation day.

Plenty of parents and other supporters are doing so. It’s time to get onboard with Project Graduation.

For those unfamiliar with it, the project is the planning and execution of the safe all-night party for the graduating class at Hood River Valley High School.

This June 7, seniors will have a safe, sober place for sharing a great night of fun. The all-night party is held each year at the Hood River Elks Lodge, which donates the space.

Parents in the valley have always stepped up to make the party a success. This year will be no different. New input is always welcome.

Last year more than 130 local businesses contributed cash or products to help make the evening a success. (Students themselves are also asked to contribute $35 toward the evening, which includes games, a DJ, raffle prizes, food, a photo booth and memory wall and dancing.)

The event aims to host the entire graduating class, but it is their option. The more the merrier, it can be said, not only in maximizing the number of youth who attend but also in making it sufficiently attractive that they will want to do so.

A small organizing team is already hard at work identifying parent tasks that include goals in fundraising, volunteer coordination, registration, decorating, security, music and entertainment, food, memory wall displays, raffle prizes and more.

The 2013 party started with a little over $2,000 from the prior year’s event, and the goal is to create the same carryover for 2014. If you can’t help at the event or attend planning meetings, there are still ways to get involved.

It is a community project that takes extensive planning. Whether you are a parent, or a business or organization called upon to assist, consider whatever donation you can make to one of Hood River’s best annual traditions.

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Planning meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. in the HRVHS Commons on Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10.

To learn more, contact Kathy McLean at 541-387-3569 or visit the Project Graduation 2013 Facebook page for updates.

Donations may be made out to Project Graduation 2013, and mailed to 1767 12th St., Ste. 178, Hood River, OR 97031.

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