Puyallup: Sumner

Sumner mothers charge ahead with fundraising efforts for Grad Night 2015

In an effort to help their graduating seniors have an enjoyable and safe means to celebrate after Sumner High School’s graduation June 10, three local mothers have joined forces with other parents to begin fundraising for Grad Night 2015.

The event promotes a drug- and alcohol-free grad night for students, put on by West Coast Entertainment.

That fun and safe evening, however, comes with a hefty price tag. After months of fundraising, the group — headed by Jennifer Stowell, Robin Petersen and Ruth Landers — still has $14,000 left to raise.

“We’re just trying to keep the kids safe from getting involved with something they may regret,” Petersen said.

Following graduation June 10, students will pile onto charter buses, bringing them to different surprise venues through out the evening, eventually dropping them back off at Sumner High School the next morning.

“Graduation is a really dangerous night,” Landers said. “You always hear about a student that gets killed. (At Grad Night) they leave straight from graduation, they cannot bring their cell phones, car keys, cameras, nothing. That don’t need any money because everything is covered. It’s just a way to keep them safe. They are chaperoned the whole time.”

The three women, all mothers of graduating seniors, have been doing most of the fundraising on their own. All agree that it’s a challenge to provide an opportunity for around the 300 graduating seniors to attend. Each of the students have had to pay a deposit, but the fundraiser will keep costs to a minimum for students and offer scholarships for students who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend the event.

A fundraiser for the grad night event is scheduled for April 18 at the Old Dieringer Gym (Petersen Brothers Inc.), a Vegas style game night, catered by Branks BBQ with a no host bar, which will hopefully bring in the last $14,000 needed to pull off Grad Night. The doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is from 6 to 7, and gaming is from 7 to 10 with auctions, both live and silent held through out the evening.

“Don't miss the fun. $40 gets you $10K in gaming chips, 1 raffle ticket, a great dinner catered by Branks BBQ, a night of fun while supporting the Drug & Alcohol Free Grad Night Celebration,” the group’s Facebook page said. “Pre-buy your tickets and receive an extra raffle ticket.”

The event will have 11 gaming tables including Texas Hold em, Craps, Roulette, Red Dog, Caribbean Stud, Black Jack and more. The items up for auction include a Keurig coffee machine, Seattle Mariners tickets, a reserved parking space for 2015 Sumner High football games and much more.

To buy a ticket for the fundraising event and pick it up at Will Call, send a check to Robin Petersen, 2008 East Valley Highway, Sumner, WA 98390, or by debit or credit card by calling 253-380-5120.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SumnerHighSchoolGradNight2015.