Community Grad Night Shines
Submitted by Renee Henry, Flagstaff Community Grad Night volunteer organizer
On Friday, June 1, 2018, the Flagstaff community joined together in an amazing show of support at the 26thannual Flagstaff Community Grad Night. Local businesses, community members, volunteers, parents, and teachers hosted an exciting and engaging celebration for the high school graduates in Flagstaff. Over 500 students from all of the local high schools and homeschools enjoyed casino games, henna tattoos, inflatables, live entertainment, dodge ball, music, food, prizes, and more. The grand prizes included a custom longboard, $500 cash, a Rocky Mountain Fusion mountain bike, a Dell Inspiron laptop computer, and a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid!! Throughout the evening, almost $20,000 dollars in prizes were given away to the graduates!!
Grad Night’s primary goal is to keep students safe on the night of graduation; while at the same time recognizing their desire to have a fun time with their friends. Many students feel that graduation should include parties involving alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior; but, Grad Night is committed to offering an attractive alternative. The Flagstaff community has demonstrated that it places a high priority on high school graduation and believes in the importance of celebrating in a healthy way.
Numerous partners from LAUNCH Flagstaff provide integral support to the success of Grad Night. These partners include The Arizona Daily Sun, BASIS Flagstaff, City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Coconino Community College, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff Unified School District, Kinney Construction, North Country HealthCare, Northern Arizona Healthcare, Northern Arizona University, Northland Preparatory Academy, and Ponderosa High School. These partners, along with about 100 local businesses and individual donors, provide the funding, prizes, and in-kind donations needed to host a high-quality Grad Night event at no cost to the graduates. In addition, we had 65 volunteers working throughout the evening to provide supervision, serve food, facilitate games, manage inflatables, and provide overall safety and support at Grad Night.
The Flagstaff community did an exceptional job of modeling a positive and healthy way to celebrate a significant milestone. Flagstaff has once again demonstrated that an investment in the health and wellbeing of children builds a stronger community. Way to go Flagstaff!!!