SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Graduates safely party night away

Once again, South Brunswick High School’s Project Graduation made sure graduation night was safe for seniors.

By Azra Baig, Special Writer
Once again, South Brunswick High School’s Project Graduation made sure graduation night was safe for seniors.
   Project Graduation is an event that provides for a safe and celebratory environment free of tobacco, drugs and alcohol that the high school holds for all senior graduates.
   The Funplex provided plenty of entertainment such as bowling, go-karts, bumper cars, lazer tag, mini golf, an arcade, a roller coaster, a free fall ride and food such as pizza, subs, pasta, ice cream and much more.
   According to the high school’s website, the tradition of Project Graduation began 32 years ago in Oxford Hills, Maine in response to seven alcohol and other drug related deaths of teens in the graduation season of 1979.
   This year, Cathy Cevera and Tina Choy co-chaired the Project Graduation Committee.
   Ms. Cevera said 514 students that registered for the event with 29 chaperones and three police officers provided by the township.
   The South Brunswick Board of Education supported this event and provided 15 buses for the student’s transportation needs.
   The event was coordinated by volunteers and funded by the township’s Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, parents efforts through numerous fundraisers and local businesses’ donations.
   Due to the economy and lack of funds, it was the first year that each student was charged a $35 fee to help pay for the cost to attend.
   Ms. Cevera said she was surprised there was still a good turn out for the event even though there was a cost to attend.
   She said the community needs to realize the importance of keeping our graduates safe by continuing to hold this annual event and that more support is needed to help sustain it.
   ”You missed out,” Lakshmi Sai Pratyusha Chamarti, one of the graduating seniors said to the other students that did not attend.
   She said that the event was much better then what she had planned and that she “didn’t even get tired” during the 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. event.
   She said she was thankful to the staff at the Funplex for making the experience “wonderful” and to the chaperones that were around to help out.
   Cristina Tenreiro, another graduate, said that the event was, “the last hurrah, better then a party” and that “everyone had a good time!”
   The event concluded with the graduates retrieving their diplomas as they all safely returned to the high school.