Williams High School Grad Nite preparations under way

Parents Who Care committee $5,000 shy of $18,00 fundraising goal for annual event

While Williams High School seniors are out celebrating graduation night, parents don't have to worry.

The Parents Who Care group has again organized a Senior Grad Nite to provide a safe environment for students to celebrate.

Grad Nite Chairwoman Jill Preston said graduation is one of the most important nights of the students' lives.

"We want to honor them for graduating but we also want to keep them safe," she said.

The event will take place after graduation on May 24 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. All Williams High School students are welcome to attend from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. From 4 to 6 a.m. it will be seniors only.

"The seniors will be able to stay and kind of have the last hurrah all of them together," Preston said.

The seniors voted on three themes for this year's event, and chose a neon rave theme.

"It's lots of music, a lot of lights, it will be glow in the dark everything," Preston said.

A disc jockey from Phoenix will provide music, games and activities for the students in the skate park area of the Rec Center. Inside the Rec Center, it will be quieter. Organizers are working on getting a casino game table and a mechanical bull for the event.

"We want the kids to have fun and have something to do all night," Preston said.

Seniors will have a chance to win raffles for several prizes, including iPads, computers and cameras.

Seniors can attend the event for free. Organizers are considering having the underclassmen pay to get in to offset some of the costs. Preston hopes the event helps to motivate younger students in school.

"We want them to get excited about finishing their degree and seeing what it's like to be a senior," she said.

The Senior Grad Nite started after five kids died in a drinking and driving accident in 2007.

The parents of the seniors coordinate the event. The Parents Who Care group is a subcommittee of the nonprofit Yes I Can, so donations are tax deductible.

Students are helping with fundraising efforts. The students raised $1,000 at a car wash a few weeks ago.

"So it's not just the parents, the kids are doing the work too," Preston said.

The event is difficult to organize since the committee changes each year, Preston said. Because of that, this year's committee is inviting parents of juniors to help chaperone the event, so they can learn about coordinating Senior Grad Nite.

The committee needed to raise about $18,000 for the event. Thanks to fundraisers like the carwash, an enchilada sale and a fish fry, the committee is about $5,000 away from its goal.

"The more money we can raise it just means the more gifts and the raffles and the better stuff we can give the kids," Preston said.

More information about being a chaperone at the event or donating is available from Preston at (928) 635-3027.

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