Argyle High students tee up to support Project Graduation

Argyle High students tee up to support Project Graduation

It was 70 degrees and sunny skies on Dec. 21 when Argyle High school students descended upon Top Golf’s The Colony location to tee up at the 1st Annual Argyle Top Golf Challenge.

Accompanied in many cases by friends and family, the students partook in a friendly round of competition, all while raising money for Project Graduation 2019 to benefit the freshman class.

Project Graduation is a program provided by many U.S. high schools with the objective of creating a drug and alcohol-free post-graduation party. The event is run entirely by parent volunteers, who are supported by community leaders and businesses dedicated to bringing this important event to life. Often the events are all-night affairs and are held at hotels, local businesses or community centers.

Project Graduation originated in Maine in the early 80s after the Oxnard Hills community suffered the loss of seven students during the 1979 commencement season through a series of alcohol- related deaths. The community came together and worked with local media and businesses to create and promote this important initiative. Record numbers of students participated in this alcohol- free night and the results were a significant decline in teen fatalities during the ensuing years.

Because of its success in Maine, Project Graduation was featured and promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1983 as a model for successful prevention activities. The program became popular and many schools throughout the U.S. have adopted the Project Graduation initiative with similar results. While all school functions are supposed to be drug and alcohol free, what sets Project Graduation apart is the buy-in and support of the students.

Argyle’s Project Graduation is a nonprofit organization. Individual classes begin raising money often even before they reach high school to fund this important program. The support in Argyle has been tremendous the last few years, with well over 90 percent of graduating seniors participating in the fun-filled evening. That so many students choose to spend their last night together as a class in a safe, drug and alcohol free environment is a testament to the hard work and years of financial support and planning by parents, community and business leaders.

Argyle High parent Sarah Davee kicked off the winter break by attending the Top Golf fundraiser with family. While the day was fun for all, Davee was most happy to lend her support to Project Graduation 2019.

“I wasn’t the biggest believer in throwing a big (and safe) graduation party for seniors until I talked to a friend who lost two friends on the night of graduation,” she said. “Lending support to an effort like Project Graduation is something you can feel positive about. It impacts these kids for a lifetime. They’ve made the decision to be there in a safe, chemical-free environment and as a bonus they are building memories on their last night together as a class.”    

Argyle classes sell everything from scarves to umbrellas, host parties and holiday events to raise money for Project Graduation. The Top Golf Challenge was a new way for the Class of 2019 to come together and offer a fun outing for AHS students, while raising money for their post-graduation party. The inaugural event was a huge success with 50 participants. Due to significant sponsor and parent support, more than $2,200 was raised.

Thank you to all who participated!
We’ll see you next year!

~by Jane Krzysiak

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