Lisa Dreher


The date’s been set for a year, and seniors have already tried on their cap and gowns. The pictures have been taken and relatives squeezed into the seats, waiting for a moment all too soon now. After the hysteria, some graduates wish to decompress, but the event after that sacrifices sleep for safety.

Project Graduation, or ‘PG-15’ for this year’s class, is a lock-in the night of graduation at Main Event in Grapevine, organized and funded by parents. The purpose is to prevent drug and alcohol use and ensure that seniors are safe, while also providing entertainment from bowling to games to prizes ranging from goodie bags for everyone to TVs, laptops and printers. President of Project Graduation, Mary Dinger, decided to lead the project because she feels that it creates memories for the class.

“I stepped up after realizing no one had done so and to make sure that this event got prepared and funded for the senior class to enjoy a fun last night with some friends they may not see for a long time,” Dinger said.

With 377 attending seniors last year, Dinger believes much support from the parents will help execute the event successfully. She believes students as well should put forth the effort themselves to persuade seniors to attend.

“Parents are encouraged to attend the PG15 meetings, support the fundraising efforts and volunteer time, talent and treasure money,” Dinger said. “Students can help by talking about, tweeting, Facebooking and spreading the word. It truly is a great evening for you guys.”

Such work is witnessed and appreciated by soon to be graduates, such as senior Hannah Meinen, who believes that the parents sponsoring the event go beyond what is expected of them to make sure graduating classes are having a fun experience while being safe.

“There’s so many parents that work so hard and these parents some of their children have already graduated and they put so much work into it even though they don’t have to,” Meinen said. “You don’t see very often parents who want to put in so much effort for students who aren’t theirs.”

According to Meinen, the event has in the past been successful in bringing together the class in a social atmosphere while they make memories before going separate ways.

“I had a friend who graduated in 2013 and he said it was really fun and he won a lot of prizes and it’s just a good experience for everyone,” Meinen said. “It’s really one last hoorah before you go to college because a lot of people forget about their friends over the summer.”

For more information, go to the school site and select ‘Senior Corner’ on the list on the left. Then under ‘2014-2015 Senior Links’ click on “Project Graduation,’ or click the link below.