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Sober Grad committee needs help to provide memorable night

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Practice your poker face for Friday night’s second annual Sober Grad Poker Tournament and you’ll be chipping in to a memorable night for some high school seniors. The fundraising season for Lincoln High School’s Sober Grad Night kicked off this month with a tamale fundraiser and continues with Friday’s poker tournament. A core committee of six to eight parents is working to plan this year’s Sober Grad Night, according to committee president Mia Guzman. Sober Grad Night is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on June 8 and takes place on the night of graduation, according to Guzman. Committee member Kimberly Fricke said the committee “would love 100 percent” of this year’s high school seniors to attend Sober Grad Night. “Sober Grad’s mission is to provide a safe and sober graduation night for seniors at Lincoln High School,” Fricke said. There are 339 graduating seniors this year, according to Fricke. “If one life is saved because of what we do for the kids, it’s well worth it,” Fricke said. The committee must raise $35,000 for the night, according to Fricke. That’s because a number of prizes will be given away that night, including laptop computers, iPods, bicycles, camping equipment and gift cards. “We go over the top with decorations and prizes,” Fricke said. “Kids that have gone to sober grad night talk about how much fun it was. It’s their last chance to be with their friends.” Fricke said the committee still has to earn another $20,000 by graduation through fundraising and donations. Other fundraisers are a Bunco Night at the Veterans Hall on March 30 and a trap shoot at Coon Creek Trap and Skeet on May 5. There is a different theme for each year’s sober grad night, which is kept top secret until the students arrive that night. “We want them to have something to look forward to and be surprised,” Guzman said. Last year’s theme was Hawaii, and in 2010, it was “Alice in Wonderland.” There will be plenty to keep the graduating seniors occupied that night, according to Guzman, including a movie room, games and food. “We’ll have pizza, a chocolate fountain, sandwiches, fresh fruit, a nacho bar and popcorn,” Guzman said. Tickets for Sober Grad Night are $40 a student, which includes a T-shirt and a different prize every half hour, according to Fricke. For those students who cannot afford the ticket, Fricke said, scholarships are available. Aside from money earned from fundraising, the committee is also accepting monetary and in-kind donations, according to Guzman. In-kind donations requested are food, such as pastries, fresh fruit and sandwiches, and drinks for the event, including water and energy drinks for “around 2 a.m. when the kids are tired.” Fricke said that “watching the kids’ faces as they walk in” is one of the best parts of being involved with Sober Grad Night. Guzman agreed. “When they walk in, they are in shock,” Guzman said. “We have school staff, teachers, counselors and parents, and we are all clapping and cheering when they walk in.”