OAKHURST – “Yes, there will be a Sober Grad for seniors graduating this year!”
So says the group of parents and teachers who have banded together to make certain that a Yosemite Unified School District tradition doesn’t strike out since the area lost its only bowling alley last year.
New traditions are about to be established, and organizers are setting the bar quite high. Or should we say rope course?
Oakhurst Bowl had long been the location for Sober Grad, a tradition that dates back decades, and the venue hosted one last “hurrah” with the graduating class of 2013. That may have been the end of the bowling alley, but anyone who thought they’d seen the last of Sober Grad can think again.
“This year Sober Grad will be held at Camp Oakhurst,” say organizers. “It will be for any seniors in the Yosemite Unified School District, including those from YHS, Evergreen Independent Study and Glacier Charter High School. Sober Grad will be held on Friday, June 6, after the YHS graduation ceremony.”
Please note that seniors must sign up in advance for Sober Grad, which in the past has been an all-night-long revelry with top-secret entertainment and a constant slew of cash, prizes, and even car giveaways. Sober Grad was a program originally started by the CHP, and while the CHP does not donate money for the event at Yosemite, representatives have been present in the past.
The new venue promises to be an outstanding upgrade for the Class of 2014.
Camp Oakhurst offers a host of outdoor activities, including swimming, paintball, high ropes and low ropes courses, a climbing wall and a giant swing.
Students attending Sober Grad will have plenty to do indoors as well, with the committee planning for games and surprises throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning. Plus they can look forward to an abundance of food and fun.
As of now, the Sober Grad committee says they need help from the community, starting with awareness that the tradition continues in a great new location.
Co-chairs of the committee are Shawnessy Gaynor, Leslie Peterson, and Kimberly Smith. The YHS PTA president is Audra Hammerling.
“We are seeking and accepting donations of cash, food, prizes, you name it,” the committee explains. “We would love to see the whole community rise up and support our graduating seniors. We will be contacting local service clubs, businesses, and individuals for donations of all kinds.”
The group has set Thursday, Apr. 10 for their next meeting, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Oakhurst Elementary School library.
“We need volunteers before and during the event, so come on out and support our Class of 2014 graduating seniors!”
If you want to make a donation of any kind, please email Jennifer Clark.
You may also mail or hand-deliver donations to Yosemite High School PTA, 50200 Road 427, Oakhurst 93644. Please note items must be clearly marked and designated for PTA.
Additionally, the PTA asks that people save the date of Saturday, May 10, when the Kiwanis and the Sober Grad Committee are co-hosting a pancake breakfast, with all proceeds going to benefit Sober Grad.
“There will be drawings for several wonderful prizes at the breakfast, although you do not need to be present to win,” say committee members. “If you would like to buy Pancake Breakfast tickets and/or tickets prize drawing tickets, call Gary Murphy at (559) 676-4446.” Breakfast tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for kids 6-12 years old. Little ones age 5 and under may attend at no charge. Prize drawing tickets are $5 each or 5 for $25.
Finally, an on-going fundraiser through Apr. 5 offers a shopping opportunity – link to an online jewelry party with proceeds going to Sober Grad. Shop at Silpada, or visit Silpada via Pam Rudd and select the YHS Sober Graduation party link.