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Preparations Begin For Sober Grad
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Nearly eight months before they put it on, members of the Escalon Sober Grad committee start planning for the party.

This year is no different, as the kickoff meeting for the 2011 effort was staged earlier this month and the two biggest fundraisers have been put in motion.

Scheduled first is the annual Fall Bunco Bash, set for Thursday, Nov. 4 starting with hors d'oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. and the game beginning at 7 p.m.

Cost is $20 per person and there will be a variety of door prizes and opportunity drawings in addition to the Bunco game. The event will be at the Escalon Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California.

"Our first meeting was Oct. 6," said co-organizer Debbie Veenstra, who is again working with Suzanne Longstreth this year to pull the event together.

But, this will be the last year, as Veenstra said they are looking for someone new to take over.

"I've been involved in Sober Grad for nine years and the last three or four years have been in charge," Veenstra said, noting that it's time for some fresh ideas.

Longstreth, who is also working to help raise funds for the annual party for seniors, won't be assisting at the actual event on graduation night because she has a senior this year that will be attending.

"We're looking for people to step up," Veenstra said, adding that the parent helpers can come from any grade level or even just community residents looking to get involved.

Sober Grad offers Escalon High seniors a safe, sober environment to enjoy their graduation night together. The party has been hugely successful over he years, drawing the majority of the senior class in for the all night festivities.

Meetings of the Sober Grad committee this year will be every other month starting in January, with that meeting set for Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. at Pizza Plus. Meetings are the first Wednesday, with additional sessions in March and May.

Along with the Bunco Bash on Nov. 4, the committee is also planning the popular drive thru tri tip dinner, staged at El Portal Middle School. The date for that is Jan. 22 and tickets are $35 for dinner for a family of four. The dinner includes tri tip, potatoes, salad, bread and soda.

"We do have those tickets available now, if people want to get them and give them as Christmas gifts," said Veenstra.

The cost went up $5 this year but it is still a great deal for a family meal for four, with plenty of food and benefiting a good cause, said Veenstra.

For more information on getting involved in the Bunco Night, buying tri tip dinner tickets or assisting with the Sober Grad committee, contact Veenstra at 606-4244 or Longstreth at 838-2892.