In response to the yearly deaths caused by high school seniors drinking and driving on the night of their graduation, many communities now come together and host safe and sober all-night parties where the graduates can attend and enjoy one last night of safe partying with their high school friends.
In most communities around the United States, these events have become very large and elaborate events in an attempt to attract as many graduating students as possible. The goal is to make them the “must attend” event of the year and have all of the students not want to be anywhere else on graduation night. Generally the planning for such an event starts well before the school year gets underway, and some parties take all year long to plan.
If you are tasked with planning, or assisting in the planning of a high school graduation night party, the first thing you will need to do is find out what the costs will be and where that money will be coming from. It is common for schools to host fundraising events and dinners from which the money is specifically ear-marked for the graduation event. You can count on this event being very expensive, so it is important to plan to fundraise early and as often as possible. Also, it is important to note that if you have students who work to earn some of the money through car washes, dog washes, yard clean-up events, etc… they will feel much more part of the celebration and not want to miss the big night they have worked so hard for.
Once you have a budget for the event, it is time to decide on your location and theme. If your town has an interesting attraction which might be available to you for rent, that can be a great option. However, many schools hold their events in their own gymnasiums with a lot of success as well. More importantly than the location is generally the theme of the evening and what will be happening at the party.
One very popular graduation night party theme is to have a casino. As each graduate arrives they are given casino chips and are presented with tons of typical casino games to play. Many teens these days love the World Series of Poker so having Texas Hold’em tables works well. In addition, the more traditional games of blackjack and roulette are always a hit.
Here in my own local area, it is popular to go out into the community to solicit donations of both money and items for the graduation party event. Each year a local car dealership even donates a brand new car to be auctioned off at the end of the event. They do so both as advertising and as a way to show that they support the idea of a safe and sober graduation night for all of the local graduating kids. You really never do know who will donate to your party until you take the time to ask around. Aim for the stars and see what your community will come up with. In many cases, you will be very pleasantly surprised.
While planning a safe and sober graduation party can be a daunting task, because of its sheer size and the age of the kids who will be in attendance, it is very doable and a must have event for every community. By working together with others from the school and the community at large your event can be a great success and a tradition which will grow and grow as the year’s progress.