Auction benefits KHS Project Graduation

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Mar. 28, 2011
Donna Hamilton, chair of the Killingly High School Project Graduation Committee. Photos by D. Coffey.
Donna Hamilton, chair of the Killingly High School Project Graduation Committee. Photos by D. Coffey.

About 50 people showed up to support the Project Graduation benefit auction at Killingly High School on March 26. More than 70 items had been donated from area businesses, organizations and individuals. Monetary donations totaling $1,455 had also been donated.

For 21 years, Project Graduation has provided a safe, alcohol- and drug-free mystery trip for graduating seniors. Donna Hamilton, chair of the Project Graduation Committee, estimated that this year's trip would cost approximately $10,000 to $12,000. The committee had already raised $6,500 before the auction. The destination of the trip is always kept under wraps so as to be a surprise to the graduates, she said. It will be safe, chaperoned and last from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“It's one last night for the kids to be together,” Hamilton said. “It'll be one last little celebration for them.” They expect about 100 seniors to sign up for the trip.

“It's wonderful that so many businesses donated gift certificates and items,” Board of Education member Richard Murray said from his seat in the food court. “It's good for the community to come together.”

Joan Kelleher, whose son graduated from Killingly High School years ago, went to the auction because of the bargains. “People are missing a great opportunity by not coming,” she said. Everything from massages and admission passes, to furniture and Red Sox memorabilia was up for bid. Most items went for less than their stated value.

School nurse Rita Kelley had been coming to the auctions since the 1990s. She said she planned to give away the gift certificates she bid on.

Louis Beauvais, whose son graduated from KHS, went because he likes benefit auctions. He’d circled several items on the listing that he was interested in, if the price was right.

KHS senior Katelyn Morrissette is planning to go on the Project Graduation trip. “It'll be good to end the year with all my friends,” she said.

Auctioneer Kevin Gaudreau conducted the event. By the end of the auction, the committee had raised about $3,800.

For more information or to support Project Graduation, contact Killingly High School at 860-779-6620.

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