The committee in charge is small but mighty and, even as elements are falling nicely into place, this marks an opportunity for parents and the community to participate in giving local students a memorable night out followed by a safe ride home.
This year’s Sober Grad is Wednesday, Jun. 8, at The Landing — immediately following the Yosemite High School graduation ceremony. The Landing is located at 50089 School Road, across the street from the YHS student drop-off lot at 50200 Road 427 in Oakhurst. The PTA has arranged for the location to be available overnight and the event will continue with volunteer supervision until 5 a.m.
Students from YHS who plan to attend are required to fill out a permission slip indicating, among other points, that they will be picked up by a parent or guardian in the morning. The no-driving plan is being put in place to ensure that students do not drive drowsy after staying up all night.
Among the highlights of the evening are expected to be volleyball, poker, billiards, wild bingo and a mechanical bull, along with other surprises throughout the night and into the morning. Representatives from the local CHP will be on hand with their drunk-driving simulator, a public service that’s a big kick for the graduates and is also a reminder of why Sober Grad was originally instituted.
Drinks, snacks, and pizza are just part of what’s on the menu overnight at Sober Grad. Mostly, it’s a chance for the seniors to unwind and spend a last night together as the Class of ’16, and a host of volunteers are required to make sure it’s comfortable, safe night where the kids are well-fed.
“Sober Grad has taken place and been very successful for many years because of the generosity of the people, businesses and service organizations in our community coming together and supporting its graduating seniors,” says Kimberly Smith, President of the YHS PTA. Smith no longer has students in school, and neither does her cohort on the PTA, Shawnessy Gaynor. This means that the committee is looking for new families to participate in this event and take over the organization for the future.
In the meantime, the committee is still accepting gifts from the community to give to the seniors, as an abundance of goodies is one of the big draws for the graduates on the night of Sober Grad.
“Each year we give away many great prizes that students have found useful in their college and young adult life after high school,” Smith explains. “Some of these prizes have been small appliances, sporting goods, gift certificates, services and even cash. The generosity toward the seniors has been possible because of the generous support we’ve always received from our friends and neighbors.”
Student names for the drawings will be done via raffle tickets. As the seniors arrive they will be given a raffle ticket to write their name on and deposit into the general gift bucket. There will be a white board so the names can be written on it, just in case the winner is not nearby when their name is called. Their name will remain on the board for an hour, say organizers, and if they do not collect, another name will be pulled. Other details on raffles and prizes will be available the night of the event.
The committee can currently use donations of time, money, gift cards, prizes, services, food or any other means that individuals or groups can to help make this a safe, fun and successful celebration for the graduating seniors of Yosemite High.
“Our Sober Grad Committee are making plans and preparations for this special event. With all donations we will provide a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. If you are able to make a donation, please feel free to send your donation or request a visit from a committee member.”
Please contact Kimberly Smith or send donations to the school address at 50200 Road 427 c/o Yosemite High School PTA. Thank you!
The California State PTA is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This exemption applies to all the California State PTA’s constituent organizations. The YHS PTA tax ID is 90-1040797.
Here’s a copy of the letter that’s being sent home to parents this week:
Dear Senior Parents & Graduating Seniors,
Sober Grad is definitely on for this year. We will be having it at The Landing which is directly across the street from the High School. As always it starts following graduation. We have plenty of activities, prizes, food and entertainment for the graduates.
Please note: Graduates will NOT be able to drive themselves to or from the event. They will need to have a ride, no exceptions. Without going into detail of past years’ issues, we keep them from drinking and driving during the celebration, but as we all know, being up all night leads to tired driving which is just as bad. Attached is the permission slip for the event.
• All permission slips can get turned into the YHS office, to Sarah Campstrom’s mailbox.
• Students must be dropped off and picked up by an adult – they may not drive themselves to the event even if they’re 18.
• They all need a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian (even if they’re 18) – a PTA rule. The 18 year olds can sign for the two treatment consent and liability parts. We want mandatory signatures from the parents or guardians for the driving section.
• Alternative Schools and Glacier are welcome but must also have permission slips.
• Event is free for seniors, no guests allowed
• Will be putting out volunteer/chaperone sign up sheets soon.
• Permission slips are due on or before Friday June 3rd.
• If you have any donations (prizes, gift cards) they can be dropped off at YHS or you can call Kimberly Smith to arrange to have them picked up.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via the YHS PTA facebook page – just search, Sober Grad-Night, email: YHSPTA@yahoo.com or call me direct 559-676-0942.
Yosemite High School PTA, President