Project Graduation needs money help
Volunteers have raised only $7,000 of $45,000 needed for Cedar Ridge High event.
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 email@example.com or visit crhsprojectgraduation.org.
Sam Brackeen, president of the Cedar Ridge Project Graduation, says only 10 percent of parents are volunteering.