Project Graduation 2018 holds planning event

Cove Leader-Press

Interested parents and even a few seniors attended the first planning session for Project Graduation 2018.
The meeting took place in the Copperas Cove Public Library’s meeting room on Saturday. 
Attendees began brainstorming ideas for the event such as location and fundraising.
William Pelkey and his wife, Alicia, attended the event even though their son will not be graduating this year.
“I know last year, their fundraisers kind of didn’t happen as much as they needed to,” said Alicia.
“We came to hang out so we can help support the community,” said William. “The biggest thing is having a safe environment for the kids to be on graduation night to keep them from drinking and driving.”
Project Graduation is a national program that began as a response to the increase in casualties during graduation season due to the teens drinking and driving. Project Graduation seeks to ensure that graduating teens have a safe, alcohol and drug-free party. The event is chaperoned and security is provided throughout the night. They intend to provide plenty of food, fun, and activities.
Casino-style games, karaoke and music, games and contests, movies, video games, sporting activities, and more are planned for this year’s Project Graduation.
The group discussed holding the event at Putters & Gutters Fun Center in Lampasas, MAKS Family Fun and Event Center, or at the high school. The event is generally held at the high school because it’s safe and secure, they won’t have to worry about transporting the teenagers, and they can use the money saved to purchase additional giveaway items.
They also discussed potential fundraising opportunities such as their annual giftwrapping fundraiser. They also talked about raising money through fundraisers at various businesses, a car show, movie night, and more.
Charles Lyons, who helped organize the event, said that the quality of Project Graduation has varied in the past due to differing levels of parent involvement, but he wants to help ensure that the quality of this year’s Project Graduation and all future Project Graduations stay above a certain level.
“Project Graduation will only be successful with the support of the parents,” said Lyons, adding that it’s also very important to get the community involved.
In order to draw in more volunteers, the group also talked about participation incentives. 
One idea was to give raffle tickets to volunteers each time they participate. They hope this will also encourage the seniors to take part in the planning process. 
By working together, the parents, teens, and community can help ensure that Project Graduation – 2018 will be a huge success and create some wonderful memories for the graduating class.
The next meeting to discuss Project Graduation will be held in the Copperas Cove Public Library Meeting Room on Saturday, Oct 21 at 1 p.m.
Those interested in learning more, volunteering, or donating can do so at

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