The 22nd Annual Oak Ridge Graduation Celebration—a free, all-night party for high school graduates in the city—will be held Thursday, May 30, in the Oak Ridge Civic Center. It will start at 10 p.m., according to event organizers.
The party, which goes until May 31 at 5 a.m., is aimed at keeping graduates safe in an alcohol- and drug-free environment while celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event. Since the party’s inception in 1997, not one traffic accident involving a student has occurred on graduation night in Oak Ridge, and nearly 6,000 students have participated, a press release said.
“We are so glad to be able to offer this wonderful event to our graduates,” said Debbie Magill, chair of the planning committee. “It shows our youth that the City of Oak Ridge cares about students, is proud of their accomplishments, and wants them to be safe on graduation night. We could not put on this event without the generous support of the Oak Ridge Parks and Recreation Department, the Oak Ridge Youth Advisory Board, and the citizens and businesses of our city.”
Graduation Celebration is open to all Oak Ridge students who graduate in May-June 2019, including homeschool and private school graduates. It is held rain or shine in the Oak Ridge Civic Center, regardless of whether Oak Ridge High School graduation itself is rescheduled for weather.
Although the party is free, students should register at www.GraduationCelebration.org.
Many volunteers are needed as well for set up, event operations, and clean up, the press release said. They can register on the website and will receive a free T-shirt for helping. Volunteers must be 21 years old, and they are especially needed from midnight until 5 a.m.
The city’s Youth Advisory Board picks the theme each year, and this year it is “Blast From the Past,” with decorations reflecting that theme, the press release said. The party features activities all night such as laser tag, bingo, Sumo wrestling, SCUBA in the Civic Center pool, face painting, board games, and the annual “balloon drop” of cash and prizes. Food from many area restaurants is available throughout the night. More than $13,000 in prizes and scholarships are given every year, the press release said. The grand finale prize of the evening is $1,500 in cash and a $500 Outdoor Package, which includes a Trek bicycle, donated by YAB and the Oak Ridge Bicycle Center.
Graduation Celebration Foundation is a nonprofit organization, and donations may be tax deductible and can be given easily through the website, or by mailing a check to Graduation Celebration, PO Box 6546, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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