Story written by by Lisa Secan, CDO parent, and contributed by Project Graduation
After a year of planning, Project Graduation 2004 is becoming a reality, and the northwest community is being asked to pitch in and help. Parent organizations at both Oro Valley high schools, Canyon del Oro and Ironwood Ridge, are set to host their very first all-night celebrations for the senior classes of 2004. Modeled after the nationally recognized Grad Night program, this event will provide an alcohol and drug-free venue for more than 800 teens.
Endorsed by the Oro Valley Police Department, the Oro Valley Mayor and Council, and the Amphitheater Public Schools, Project Graduation 2004 is undertaking a major fundraising campaign to inaugurate this event. The Northwest EXPLORER and its publisher, Melanie Larson, recently stepped-up to kickoff this effort by dedicating the proceeds from this year's "Jingles" Holiday Recipe and Songbook insert to Project Graduation. Community members are invited to submit a recipe for "Jingles Holiday Book," which will become a veritable Who's Who in the Northwest with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Project Graduation..
Each school's Project Graduation committee will be presented with a check on Dec. 7 during the Holiday Tree Lighting reception to be held at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort. The goal of this year's "Jingles" is to donate $6,000. Send in your holiday recipe or greeting today and become part of this year's fund-raiser.
The generosity of the Northwest EXPLORER and student ticket sales will provide partial funding for Project Graduation, but the need for donations from the community is great. Costs include hiring professional entertainment and providing enough food for teenage appetites, materials for construction of props and sets, and supplies for mailing and postage. In planning for these expenses, the Northwest Explorer and Project Graduation volunteers are initiating a community challenge: "100 Businesses - 100 Dollars or More!" A tax-deductible donation of just $100 from 100 local businesses would raise much-needed money for this worthy community undertaking.
Contributors will be acknowledged in a weekly update column to appear in the Northwest EXPLORER sports section, next to news of other local school events. Donors will also be invited to a preview of both CDO's and Ironwood Ridge's venues before graduation next May.
Businesses and individuals are invited to participate in bringing this fun, memorable and life-saving event to the Northwest community. Checks may be mailed to:
P.O. Box 36593
(A tax receipt will be returned by mail.) For more information, please call 696-5578 or 407-4290.
Check the EXPLORER's business and sports sections for weekly updates on Project Graduation contributions