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PARTY of the year

Parents, students work together to set up Project Graduation 2011

April 3, 2011
By JOHANNA BOYLE - Journal Ishpeming Bureau , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Parents of Marquette Senior High School seniors might be looking forward to seeing their kids walk across the stage and receive their diplomas on June 5, but the seniors have something to look forward to in addition to the commencement ceremony.

Since 1986, Project Graduation, a committee of parents, has organized an all-night party to allow the new graduates to hang out as a class for one more night.

"It's a night of fun," said Patti Tourville, chair of the 2011 Project Graduation Committee. "It's the last time they're going to be together as a class."

Held in the Superior Dome the night of graduation, the party provides a safe, substance-free, fun environment for the MSHS senior class to celebrate together.

Tickets are $25, on sale May 4 and 5, as well as May 18 and 19 at the MSHS gym and cafeteria during lunch, as well as during commencement practice on June 2.

Tourville said the committee hoped to see a large portion of the 270-member senior class attend the party.

Fact Box

Helping out:

Those interested in donating to the MSHS Project Graduation 2011 can send checks to Project Graduation, c/o MSHS, 1203 W. Fair Ave., Marquette, Mich. 49855. Those interested in volunteering can contact the committee can contact the committee at projectgraduation11@gmail.com.

"I'd like to say we're going to have 270 in attendance," she said.

This year's event follows the theme "Surf's Up," with current seniors lending a hand to help the committee do its planning.

"If they have questions, they come to us," said senior Kelly McCommons.

Seniors said they hoped the all-night party would include a variety of events.

"Stuff that everybody can get involved with. It's a last bonding experience," said fellow senior Nick Palmer.

So far, the committee has decided on including a range of activities, held throughout the night, including the Northern Michigan University climbing wall, inflatable slides and games, a velcro wall, a dance area, a video game and movie area, basketball and ping pong tournaments, henna tattoos, an obstacle course and enough food to feed 270 high school graduates until 5:30 a.m. when the party ends.

One idea that the seniors are particularly excited for - a dunk tank with teacher volunteers waiting to be dunked.

"That would definitely make my day," said senior Kevin Liberty. "We're excited to finish school and the way to go out is the all-night party."

One new addition this year will be a student-written and produced senior video, shown at the end of the night to showcase what life has been like at MSHS for that particular class. In previous years, that video has been produced by an outside company, but this year the MSHS script writing class has taken over the project.

"It's our video and whe know what we want in it," McCommons said. "It's a big job."

Although graduation might still seem like a long way off for the seniors, the parent committee still has plenty to do between then and now to make sure the party goes off without a hitch, from lining up activities to finding volunteers to help out during the party itself. The 10-member committee has been coordinating efforts from hundreds of volunteers since September.

The annual event receives a lot of support from the surrounding community, not just those directly connected with the school.

"This is a community event. We couldn't do this without community support," Tourville said. "It is a huge event... It's like planning a giant birthday party."

Those interested in donating to the MSHS Project Graduation 2011 can send checks to Project Graduation, c/o MSHS, 1203 W. Fair Ave., Marquette, Mich. 49855. Those interested in volunteering can contact the committee can contact the committee at projectgraduation11@gmail.com.

"What you get for $25 is a lot of fun," Tourville said, encouraging all the MSHS seniors to sign up for the 2011 Project Graduation.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is jboyle@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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