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New Leaders, Ideas Sought For Sober Grad
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Plans are coming together for the 2011 edition of Escalon High School's Sober Grad but organizers are concerned ... no one is stepping up to take the reins from longtime coordinators Debbie Veenstra and Suzanne Longstreth.

"Both Suzanne and I have seniors this year," said Veenstra, noting that it's time for them to 'term out' and have a new leader or team of leaders step forward to take on the job of planning the graduation night party for Escalon High School seniors.

"I would hate to see this be the last one," Veenstra said. "We don't want to lose the momentum we have."

Sober Grad is an all night party for EHS seniors, a way to spend their final night of high school together, in a safe and sober environment, with food, games, prizes, music and fun.

Veenstra said organizers are putting final touches on this year's celebration and tickets will go on sale when students come back from spring break, starting Monday, May 2.

"Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door," Veenstra said.

Right now, organizers are looking for donations of cash or prizes to make sure every student attending leaves the Sober Grad Night festivities with a prize. Typically, the gifts are at least equal to the price of the ticket to get in.

Veenstra said she and Longstreth have worked well as a team but feel it is time to let someone else take the lead.

"The best time to get involved is when your kids are just starting high school," she said.

The Sober Grad Committee meets about six times a year, she added, and basically do two or three fundraisers to get the seed money for the annual event.

A tri-tip drive through dinner and a Bunco night are the primary fundraising events.

"It's not an overwhelming job," Veenstra said of organizing the end-of-year party.

She added that the Escalon Sober Grad has contracts with some vendors for items including the table games and the inflatables that are brought in and wants to keep them going, as they have held the line on their price for several years, not raising the rates they charge for the graduation night party.

Anyone interested in getting involved in helping put on Sober Grad can contact Veenstra at 606-4244. The event typically draws the majority of EHS seniors and is scheduled this year for Friday, May 27.

The next meeting of the Sober Grad committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at Pizza Plus in Escalon and anyone interested is welcome to attend.