Parents, committee plan all-night party
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After graduation is a time to celebrate what students have accomplished throughout their high school years and be with their closest friends. People like parent Jennifer Wille do just that. She is one of the parents who plans the senior class party.
The senior class party is a time for the graduating class to spend one last time together as one big group. It is a tradition in Stillwater and the longest running in the state.
“The senior class party is a tradition that goes back to 1980; it’s actually one of the longest running parties in the state,” Wille said, Co-Chair Planning Committee.
The planning for the party takes a long time to put together, starting the summer before school starts. The planning committee consists of 16 people who each play their own role in the planning for this big party. They have regular people they go to who have a reputation with the graduates. A trouble with the planning is the budget. The committee spends about $50,000 to $60,000 a year on the party.
“We start planning for the senior party the summer before the school year – so for this senior class, 2017, we actually had a couple of planning meetings over the summer of 2016,” Wille said. “We also need to plan our budget; a large portion of our fundraising comes from donations for community members – business and individuals that give generously (food, cash and prizes) – to enable us to keep the cost low for the graduates,” Wille added.
The party starts right after the graduation and runs until five the next morning. Seniors arrive throughout the night after the graduation and when they are done with the family. During the time at the party, the graduates can “gamble”, eat and win prizes.
“The senior party starts right after the graduation back at the high school- grads typically arrive anywhere between 9-11 p.m., depending on how many pictures their families want to take! It runs all night and ends around 5 the next morning,” Wille said.
Many of the seniors in the past have had their favorites. The food, the prizes, gambling and being with the class one last time as a whole. Prizes included donations from local companies such as gift cards, clothing, etc. The usual grand prize is a $5 thousand voucher from Stillwater Motors, a favorite by most but only one winner. With that, the winner can lease any car of their choice from the lot or use it on whatever they please.
“Everyone has their own favorite thing – but it always seems that our final event of the evening is always popular – that is also when we award the raffle prizes and grand prizes,” Wille said.
In order to register, go to sahsgradparty.com to reserve a spot. Also on the website, you can watch a video made by Cutaway Productions to see what it is all about.