South Windsor Operation Graduation sets $25,000 goal

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Apr. 4, 2013
Alex Loukellis and Lia Verde, senior student representatives to Operation Graduation, hold the thermometer that shows how much money has been raised so far. Photo by Christian Mysliwiec.
Alex Loukellis and Lia Verde, senior student representatives to Operation Graduation, hold the thermometer that shows how much money has been raised so far. Photo by Christian Mysliwiec.

Graduation is right around the corner, which means Operation Graduation is working hard to reach its $25,000 goal to put on a fun and safe party for South Windsor High School graduates at Nomad's Adventure Quest on the night of graduation, Monday, June 24. “It's a drug-free, alcohol-free, all-night party at Nomad's,” said Liz Harner, co-chair of Operation Graduation.

The event starts at 9 p.m. and runs until 4 a.m. Graduates will be able to enjoy all that Nomad's has to offer, including a rock-climbing wall, laser tag arena, bumper cars, mechanical bull, blacklight mini-golf, mini bowling lanes, pool tables, basketball courts and the electronic games concourse.

The graduates will not want for food or drink: “We get tons of food donated from different organizations,” said Harner. The event is run by the parents of underclassmen, and at around 1:30 a.m., a group of parents of seniors will come in to cook breakfast for the graduates.

“During the night there will be chances for them to play bingo and win tons of prizes like gas cards, Moe's gift cards and Dunkin Donuts gift cards,” said Harner. “Then at the end of the night we all get together in the gym and we give out the grand prizes to the raffle tickets.” These grand prizes are both generous and essential for any college-bound senior, and include televisions and iPods.

“It's solely self-funded, it has nothing to do with senior dues,” said Harner, referring to the fee seniors pay for the graduation and Senior Outing. “We ask for donations from parents.” Parents of seniors are asked to donate $40, and parents of underclassmen are asked to donate $30. Operation Graduation also solicits donations from local businesses.

They will be holding some fundraisers to help meet their goal. On Saturday, April 27, there will be a car wash at the Country Store on Sullivan Avenue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Another fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in Manchester will be held Wednesday, May 29, at 6 p.m.

Harner thanked the Board of Education, the Town Council and the school parent-teacher organizations for their support, and urges parents to make donations as well. “It's a great way for parents to know their kids are safe,” she said.

Alex Loukellis and Lia Verde are the two student representatives to Operation Graduation (there are two junior student representatives, as well). When the National Honor Society made it known that Operation Graduation was looking for helpers, they both decided to volunteer. “We wanted to make the best possible night we can for graduation,” said Loukellis.

“Our class is very close, and we wanted to make sure it would be a safe, fun party where we would have one more night to be together,” said Verde.

A large thermometer is displayed at the high school which shows where the project is on its way towards the $25,000 goal. “We're close to $7,000 right now,” said Verde.

“We're really excited,” said Loukellis.

Donations to Operation Graduation can be made online, visit www.swfoundation.org.


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