Project Graduation pushing for goal

Published 7:40 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Allyson and Joyce Perkins work a booth at the Project Graduation Christmas Bazaar. (Submitted photo)

Allyson and Joyce Perkins work a booth at the Project Graduation Christmas Bazaar. (Submitted photo)

With about three months remaining until the big night, the Brandywine Project Graduation Committee still has a long way to go to reach its fundraising goal of $16,000.

“It isn’t that concerning yet,” said Joyce Perkins, committee member and parent of Brandywine senior Allyson Perkins. “There’s still time.”

For the past 24 years, Project Graduation has allowed Brandywine seniors to have a fun and safe night out on the evening of graduation day.

This year’s class will be the 25th to take part in the experience, which is set for June 1.

“It really does keep the kids safe. It is supervised on what can be a dangerous night for seniors,” Perkins said. “This is a way to keep everyone together in a drug-free and alcohol free environment.”

The Project Graduation committee is made up of parents of the senior class. So far, the committee has held bake sales, a Christmas Bazaar and restaurant giveback nights on the way to raising about $8,000. The project is not funded by the school.

The night generally costs between $14,000 and $16,000, depending on the activities planned for the senior class.

“In past years, themes have been based on the show Survivor, there have been luaus and cook outs and ball games at midnight,” said Dawn Dunnuck, committee member. “Every year, including this one, we try to keep what we are doing as a complete surprise to the kids. They have no idea where we are going, who will be there or what they may do next. We need the Niles-Brandywine community to help us with donations to make this a successful evening and event.”

For the first time, the project graduation committee will hold a Spring Carnival and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12 at Brandywine High School. A single booth is available for $35, while two booths will go for $55. Crafters can add electricity to their booth for an extra $10. Those interested in renting booth space can contact the committee by phone at (269) 591-0189.

A Drive 4 Ford fundraiser will also be held the same day. Ford will donate $20 to the cause for every registered test drive taken that day.

“We ask and encourage all local business to donate to this worthy cause as this is our hometown,” Dunnuck said. “This is a pivotal night in every person’s life and every year the community comes through with donations for our cause and we truly do appreciate it.”

Checks can be made payable to Brandywine Project Graduation 2014 and sent directly to the High School at 1700 Bell Road, Niles, MI 49120