How to donate
Financial donations can be mailed to Project Graduation 2008, in care of Michelle McClure, treasurer, P.O. Box 3083, Lawrence, KS 66046-0083; checks should be written to "Project Graduation 2008."
A lucky Lawrence high school graduate will win a set of wheels in May.
To be that winner, graduates must attend the annual Project Graduation party May 25 in downtown Lawrence.
The overnight event, which will have prizes, games and dancing, is aimed at putting seniors under parent supervision on graduation night.
"Project Graduation is so important because it does put our seniors in a safe environment where they can really celebrate their graduation in an alcohol-free and drug-free environment," said Colleen Gregoire, a parent and co-chairwoman for the event.
Graduates from all Lawrence high schools - Free State, Lawrence High, Veritas Christian School, Bishop Seabury Academy and the Lawrence Virtual School - are invited to the event from 10 p.m. May 25 to 3 a.m. May 26 at Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.
Traditionally, up to three-fourths of graduates attend the event, Gregoire said.
A local dealership usually donates a car as the major prize, providing an incentive to keep students at the event until the end when the winner is drawn, Gregoire said. This year, Jack Ellena Honda donated a 1994 Honda del Sol.
Parent volunteers have been working to contact businesses and other parents for donations. They are about halfway through their list of potential donors, Gregoire said. Cash and prize donations are still needed. Each year, the event divides about $15,000 in prizes through drawings and complimentary gifts.
Diane Ash, a Lawrence High School prevention specialist, said Project Graduation sends a message of congratulations and responsibility to the graduates as they leave high school.
The graduation ceremonies will be May 25 at Allen Fieldhouse on Kansas University's campus. Free State's ceremony will be at 1 p.m., and LHS's ceremony will follow at 4 p.m.
Administrators moved both graduations from Memorial Stadium to Allen Fieldhouse last year because of weather concerns, and Weseman said he liked it better inside because it takes that weather decision out of play.
Seabury's graduation will be May 23 at the academy, 4120 Clinton Parkway, and the Veritas graduation will be May 24 at Lawrence Bible Chapel, 505 Monterey Way.