Volunteer keeps party going strongGiving Superior High School seniors a time to celebrate safely has been Julie Rozowski’s goal for more than two decades. She joined the committee in charge of the school’s All-Night Grad Party in 1992 when her oldest child, Charity, was a junior. As the youngest of her nine children, Chase, prepares to graduate this spring, she is still at the helm of the committee.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Giving Superior High School seniors a time to celebrate safely has been Julie Rozowski’s goal for more than two decades. She joined the committee in charge of the school’s All-Night Grad Party in 1992 when her oldest child, Charity, was a junior. As the youngest of her nine children, Chase, prepares to graduate this spring, she is still at the helm of the committee.
“Julie has been the heart and soul of the grad party,” said Principal Kent Bergum.
“Julie is very organized and all about the kids,” said Julie Urban, this year’s committee co-chair. “They are lucky to have someone like her in their corner.”
Prior to 1988, Superior graduates would go to parties elsewhere the evening of graduation and parents were concerned for their safety.
“So this would keep our children safe for that night and at the same time, give them a chance to hang out with all of their classmates for a fun-filled night,” said Rozowski, human resources and subfinder secretary for the Superior School District. It is truly a special night, Bergum said, that gives students a chance to celebrate one of life’s milestones together.
When the party began, it had a nearly 100 percent attendance rate. In recent years, 75 to 80 percent of the seniors have attended the annual event.
Each year the students are locked into the high school for a night of games, swimming, food, prizes and more capped with a shared breakfast.
“I love working with the planning group and it’s for a great purpose, the kids!” said Urban, who also works at the district office. But she attributes the longevity of the event to Rozowski.
“Without her getting this party up and running, and keeping it going for 20-plus years, it could have easily fallen by the wayside,” Urban said. “People would forget or figure it was just too much work and give up. Not her. I imagine there have been some lean years, but somehow she kept things going. She is a wonderful mother, volunteer, and a kind and generous person. We are all lucky to know her.”
It costs $18,000 to $20,000 per year to put on the event, and a host of dedicated parents.
“We always have a fabulous group of volunteers,” Rozowski said. “It is amazing to watch what people can do and put together in the amount of time that we have.”
Most of the money comes from donations and fundraising efforts, like regular collections of shiny paper. From 4-8 p.m. this Thursday, Lillians in Duluth will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from the occasional store’s sales to the party. The business is located at 2 W. First St.
Volunteers are still needed to make this year’s event a success.
“We have decorating every Monday evening to get the decorations ready; we have a need for volunteers the night before to decorate, the night of to work it and the morning after to clean up,” Rozowski said. “We are always looking for new ideas and welcome anyone to join us at our monthly meetings. You don’t have to be a senior parent.”
The next committee meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 11 in the high school cafeteria. Decorating starts at 5:30 p.m. every Monday in the back of the cafeteria. For more information, contact the high school at (715) 394-8720 or Rozowski at (715) 394-8918.