Project Grad­u­a­tion needs money help

Vol­un­teers have raised only $7,000 of $45,000 needed for Cedar Ridge High event.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Claire Os­born cos­born@states­man.com

It may be more than three months be­fore se­niors at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock grad­u­ate, but some par­ents are al­ready wor­ried about it.

They aren’t hav­ing much luck rais­ing money for an an­nual grad­u­a­tion night party that keeps the stu­dents in­side all night and not out drink­ing and driv­ing. Sam Brac­k­een, pres­i­dent of the Cedar Ridge Project Grad­u­a­tion, said he is will­ing to spend his own money if nec­es­sary to make the event hap­pen.

Brac­k­een, an in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gist for the Depart­ment of State Health Ser­vices, has a son who is a se­nior at the school at 2801 Gat­tis School Road in Round Rock. Vol­un­teers have raised $7,000 but need to come up with about $45,000 to pay for the party and other pro­grams, such as bricks to be placed out­side the school with stu­dents’ names on them, he said.

Project Grad­u­a­tion started in Maine in 1980 as a re­sponse to teenagers who were killed in al­co­hol-re­lated crashes. Many high schools across the coun­try now of­fer the al­co­hol-free party as an al­ter­na­tive to other par­ties that may in­clude al­co­hol and drugs.

Cedar Ridge High has about 600 se­niors this year, but the vol­un­teers help­ing to raise the money for Project Grad­u­a­tion rep­re­sent less than 10 per­cent of their par­ents, Brac­k­een said. “That’s a shock­ing statis­tic,” he said.

The party’s cost re­flects what the vol­un­teers want to of­fer at the event, said Jen­nifer Fleis­chman, the project’s trea­surer, who also has a son who is a se­nior at the school. That in­cludes photo booths, karaoke, casino tables, a D J, movies, a co­me­dian, door prizes, gift cards and late-night snacks such as fried chicken, pizza and break­fast tacos.

The party is from 11 p.m. June 1 un­til 5 a.m. June 2. There is no ad­mis­sion fee. The com­mit­tee is hold­ing a silent auc­tion and prom fash­ion show at 6:30 p.m. Satur­day at the school to help pay for the party.

Any­one who wants to help spon­sor the event or vol­un­teer can email crhspgtrea­surer@gmail.com or visit crhspro­ject­grad­u­a­tion.org.

SUZANNE CORDEIRO / FOR AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Sam Brac­k­een, pres­i­dent of the Cedar Ridge Project Grad­u­a­tion, says only 10 per­cent of par­ents are vol­un­teer­ing.

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