Superior grad party faces uncertain future
Superior Telegram Superior High School's Chemical Free All-Night Grad Party is in jeopardy this year. "This is kind of the make or break year," said Julie Urban, project graduation committee member. For more than 25 years, graduates have been inv...
Superior High School’s Chemical Free All-Night Grad Party is in jeopardy this year.
"This is kind of the make or break year," said Julie Urban, project graduation committee member.
For more than 25 years, graduates have been invited to one last bash at the school. The event, which takes place the evening of graduation, is drug, alcohol, smoke and cell phone free. Instead, students enjoy food, games, prizes and a wide range of activities. They aren’t released until after bar close.
"It’s great for the kids; it keeps them safe," Urban said.
About 250 graduating seniors spend the night at the school.
"It’s one last time they’re all going to be together at this time in their life," Urban said. "This might be the last time they see some of these kids ever."
At this point, whether the party will take place in any form is questionable.
Due to the rising cost of just about everything needed to put on the large-scale event, volunteers started with a $0 balance in the account this year. Hosting the party typically costs $16,000, according to Urban. Volunteers could still hold a scaled-down version for roughly $7,000. "So far we’ve only raised $1,500," Urban said.
Students pay $25 apiece to attend, but in past years each has walked away with a $25 gift certificate.
Large corporate donations have dried up, she said. The city of Superior, which has contributed $1,500 to the event annually, will cut that in half next year and donate nothing toward the grad party in 2018. While parents are great about stepping up to help by providing dollar store prizes and miscellaneous items, like a few cartons of sour cream, they can’t shoulder the entire financial burden of the party.
The committee recently sent a letter to local businesses asking for donations of cash, gift certificates or products to support the event. They plan to follow up with face-to-face contacts, Urban said. Everyone who is legitimately with the project graduation committee group will have a copy of the letter with them.
Last year, Urban said, some people posing as a member of the committee called around to pizza places to snag discount pizza.
The $0 balance in the fund this year is the result of years of dwindling donations and rising costs, Urban said. Members of the committee are sending out a plea to businesses and individuals to keep the grad party from folding. They have until April 1 to make a decision on the party.
"It’s just one last hurrah before they go into the big world," Urban said. Whether it happens is in the hands of the community.
For more information, call Urban at 218-590-0917, SHS Treasurer Julie Rozowski at 715-394-8720, ext. 119, Krista Pascoe at 218-393-1404, Krisi Patterson at 218-590-9347 or look up the SHS Class of 2016 Project Graduation Facebook page. Donations can be sent to Project Graduation, Superior High School, 2600 Catlin Ave., Superior, WI 54880.