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Sober Grad 2009 Makes Memories For Students
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Out of a graduating class of 232 students, 191 of them attended Friday night's all night Sober Grad party put on at Escalon High School.

"Only 41 kids out of the class that were eligible did not come," noted coordinator Debbie Veenstra. "There were two that paid but did not show, but we had 191 come."

The students, she said, seemed eager to share their final night of high school with each other, with everything from a mechanical bull to an obstacle course, 'beach' volleyball to a roulette table offered for their enjoyment.

"They came in bouncing off the walls and they left bouncing off the walls," Veenstra said of the high-energy class. "They never sat down, they were just so excited to be there."

The Sober Grad has been offered at Escalon High for roughly a decade, and has been successful every year, this year drawing nearly all members of the graduating class.

"The kids had so much fun," Veenstra said.

New this year was a photo booth, where classmates could join in for commemorative photos and many students also enjoyed having their caricatures drawn, along with playing the popular boxer bingo. Rock Band and Guitar Hero were also popular features and there was a steady stream of takers at the rock climbing wall.

"They ate every piece of food that we had," Veenstra added with a chuckle, noting that the group was also happy to round out the party with the hypnotist show in the early morning hours on Saturday.

Everyone went home with prizes - at least equal to the price of their admission ticket - and the grand prize winners were Laura Martinez, who won the lap top computer and Enrique Ruiz, who won the $500 cash.

"They were all so well behaved, it was really neat," Veenstra said of having a smooth evening. "It all went very, very well."