West Seattle High School students were out on Saturday May 26 at West Seattle Autoworks washing cars to raise money for Grad Night, a safe graduation celebration.
How to have a blast on Grad Night, safely; WSHS seniors will party till dawn
National statistics show that nearly one-third of alcohol-related teen traffic deaths occur during April, May and June, when prom and graduation parties often turn tragic when teenagers drink or use drugs and get behind the wheel.
West Seattle High School has been part of a program since 2009 that is aimed at keeping teenagers safe and it's anything but boring.
In fact it promises to pack in more entertainment, than they would ever be likely to have into a safe but amazing package. Run through a Seattle based commercial venture called Grad Nights it starts late on graduation night June 16 and goes until 6am the next morning. Beginning at WSHS students pile into buses and are taken to secret locations where entertainment awaits.
The whole point of it is really fun, but fun in a safe environment. "More kids die the night of their high school graduation than any other night of the year said event organizer, Cheryl Ormsby. "The guy who started the company, his best friend was actually killed in an accident 40 years ago. It's why he started the company."
"It's meant to be a fun alcohol and drug free night," said Ormsby.
The range of activities is extensive and remarkable.
The Grad Nights website states, "The Northwest’s Best DJ Service as Voted by 2000 event professionals in a poll by Seattle magazine publisher Tiger Oaks Publications! The Best Fantasy Casino Party from the company that started casino parties here in Washington! Hypnotists that are internationally recognized as the best in the industry!"
Exclamation points aside the sheer list of what the participants can choose from is exhaustive and this is only a partial list.
- World Champion Hypnotist
- Bumper Cars
- Real Laser Tag
- Bumper Boats
- XD Motion Theater
- Mechanical Bull
- Party Heads Booth
- Inflatable Sumo Wrestling
- Cash Cube
- Video Game Trailer
- King of the Hill
- Factor of Fear
- Smoothie Cart
- Xtreme Magic
- Party Pix
- LED Dance Floor
- Roller Coaster Simulator
- Slingshot Trampoline
- Lazer Maze
- 360 degree Trampolines
- Tug & Pull
- Robotic Boxing
It's not cheap. The cost is $155 per person but that price covers everything including transportation food and entertainment at two locations. "The events are picked from a menu of choices by a committee" said organizer Michele Matassa Flores and none of the students know in advance where or what they will be doing. The whole evening is chaperoned by adults.
The organizers conduct car washes and other fundraisers throughout the school year to help offset the cost and help students who otherwise could not afford it.
You can learn more about the event on the PTSA page here http://wshsptsa.org/events/grad-night
You can also check out the event's Facebook page here.