WOOD RIVER JCT. – Graduation might still be two months away for the Chariho Regional High School's class of 2011, but parents in the community are working to make sure a safe post-graduation event remains in effect for outgoing students.
This, of course, isn't a terribly new concept as members of the community have been collaborating to put on the “Chariho Post Grad Party” for 18 years. The event serves as a drug and alcohol free alternative to the various parties that are sure to occur following graduation this year and every year.
Each year, the event is held at a different secret location for “an evening of safe fun,” according to Chariho Post Grad Party Committee member Jane Durning. For the past 16 years, she has worked as a school bus driver in the school district. And for 13 of those years, she drove one of the buses used for the post-grad party.
Durning said she learned that there was a very strong possibility that the party would be canceled unless a new committee came forward to take it over. After giving it some thought, she decided that the event was too important to just see it end.
She then talked with other bus drivers in the Chariho terminal, who apparently agreed that they need to ensure that the post-grad party lived on. They rallied together to create the committee, which also includes Samantha Krueger, Kari Rousseau, Holly Fahey, Sharon Matteson, and Donna Zosa. Some of them have children in the school district while others do not.
Durning also learned that the committee would need to raise its own funding for the party. But rather than be intimidated by the somewhat daunting task, she and her fellow committee members adopted the motto, “Go big or go home,” and began brainstorming.
The result of their collaborative efforts will occur next month via the “Post Grad Festival,” an event that aims to raise money for the party.
More information is available in this week's The Chariho Times