For the last 8 years,  since my daughter was a freshman in High School, we have volunteered at Project Graduation.  Project Graduation is a substance free, all night party for graduating seniors.  We do not charge our graduates to attend, so we must fundraise and rely on volunteers.  We also have a rule that no parents of seniors are allowed to be present at the party, so we rely on undergraduate parents to chaperone and make the party run.

The decorating committee used to change the theme every year.  The chairman of the committee was a professional muralist and talented artist.  Her ideas were fabulous.  They did an outer space theme, a Medieval theme, and an Undersea theme.  When I came aboard, I realized that we didn’t have the budget or the time to reinvent the theme every year, so we made the decision to pick one theme and stick to it year after year.  After all, the graduates were always different and they had never seen the decorations before!  We decided to go with a Hollywood theme since we could stick with some basic pieces and fill out the decorations with the most popular movies of the year.  We also got donations from our local movie theater of movie posters and standees. We recently changed the venue where we hold Project Graduation.  In the past, we rented out a local health club, but this year we switched to a large Entertainment Center called Nomads.  They offer laser tag, indoor putt-putt golf, slot cars, billiards, bumper cars, arcade games and a large gym.  Even though rental was more expensive, we had to pay less for activities since everything was included!  Here are some examples of Project Graduation decorations through the years.

Fortune teller tents with Gandalf from Lord of the Rings

Fortune teller tents with Gandalf from Lord of the Rings

Entrance Marquee made out of Cardboard Boxes and Twinkle Lights

Entrance Marquee made out of Cardboard Boxes and Twinkle Lights

Painted Cardboard Popcorn Boxes with Popcorn Balloon Arch in the Food Room

Painted Cardboard Popcorn Boxes with Popcorn Balloon Arch in the Food Room

Popcorn and Soda Movie Theatre Centerpiece

Popcorn and Soda Movie Theatre Centerpiece

Red Carpet Mural

Red Carpet Mural

Director's Chairs with Lighted Palm Tree

Director's Chairs with Lighted Palm Tree

Pirates of the Caribbean Prize Area

Pirates of the Caribbean Prize Area

Bingo Room with Balloons

Bingo Room with Balloons

Walk of Fame with "Hollywood" Graduate Pictures from Prom

Walk of Fame with "Hollywood" Graduate Pictures from Prom

Casino Theme Room with Giant Dice

Casino Theme Room with Giant Dice

Marquee with Director's Chairs

Marquee with Director's Chairs

If you are on a Project Graduation Committee and have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will be happy to give you the benefit of my experience.   We have continued to volunteer for this event because we feel it is really worthwhile and we want to support the idea of keeping kids safe on Graduation night.

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