As a way to help ensure celebrations after high school graduations in Lawrence are safe, parents have hosted an all-night party for several years.
The party, called Project Graduation, provides an alcohol-free and drug-free environment for high school graduates to celebrate their accomplishments. Again this year, the party will be downtown at the Granada, 1020 Mass. The Journal-World is financing use of the Granada.
This year, the party will have a somewhat different twist. Three high schools will be represented: Lawrence High School, Free State High School and Lawrence Alternative High School.
``We're billing it as a three high-school party,'' said Mary Winter, one of the parent organizers of Project Graduation '98.
Winter said she's been impressed how parents from all three schools have joined together to work on all aspects of the party: from prizes and decorations to food and entertainment.
``It has been great,'' she said.
The decision was made early this year to hold one party for all high school graduates.
Winter said the general feeling among parents was that because this year's LHS and Free State seniors attended school for two years at Lawrence High, they would want to be together to celebrate graduation.
``I think it's a feeling that we should try to keep them together this year,'' Winter said. ``I think they're trying to do it again next year.''
The event is a community-sponsored one, so dividing it into two might pose some problems, Winter said.
Parents of seniors and local businesses provide money for prizes that are given away the night of the party, this year May 24.
In addition, the Journal-World will give away a $500 scholarship for a graduate to continue his or her post-high school education.
Prizes will be given away all night.
Graduates also will enjoy loads of food, a variety of games -- such as basketball and pool -- and music of their choosing.