Proud parents want to ensure the class of 2010 celebrates safely. That's why many of them have joined forces to put on "Sober Grad Night" with one thing in mind. "To have something for the seniors to do in a safe environment, to keep them off the streets" explained Kristen Chappell, Chair for Sober Grad night of Pleasant Valley High School.
Parents say the event offers a place for students to relax and have fun, but also takes away the threat of any danger. "We don't want anything tragic to happen on such an event-full day" said Debbie Barnett, a parent from Chico High School.
Pleasant Valley High School holds it's Sober Grad Night at Cal Skate while Chico High students celebrate at Orchard Lanes Bowling Alley. Both grad nights take place from 10 p.m. to 5 am and parents from both schools say neither party would be possible without donations from local businesses. "It's amazing how generous all these businesses are and they are very willing to help us and support us" said Layne Diestel, the sober grad chair for Chico High School.
At a cost of up to eighty-five dollars per student, it takes a lot to put on such lavish events. Chico High was able to collect over 40-thousand dollars while Pleasant Valley gathered close to 30-thousand. The funds are used to rent the facilities and provide things like D.J.'s, mechanical bull rides, casino night and massage parlors. "Come in, have fun and enjoy every last minute of it, cause everything changes from here" said Debbie Barnett.
The all night events have attracted close to four hundred students from each school. Students say they want a safe and fun night with friends. "I know lots of students that after graduation are so excited, that they're gonna go out and party and there's a lot of unsafe stuff that happens, and it's a safe place for us all to be for the night" said Katie Mesa, a graduating senior from Chico High School. Carly Peterson, another graduating senior from Chico High explained that, " Not only do you get to say good-bye to everybody you spent all your years with, but you also get to be sober and in a safe environment."
Most say that while safety and making smart choices on the night of graduation is the main goal of Sober Grad Night, the parents also want to ensure that the students walk away with memories that will last them a lifetime. "This is the last opportunity that they have to be together like this again, and they need to create lasting memories" said Debbie Bernett.