‘Project Grad’ coming soon

Published 5:46 am Saturday, May 6, 2017

Bogalusa High School Project Graduation 2017 President Derrick Peters said the hunt for donations is currently on, and that he encourages businesses and individuals to pitch in to help provide a “nice, safe environment for the kids.”

“Donations are much needed so we can keep the kids off the streets, drinking and driving,” he said. “We’re trying to save some lives and to help others, too.

“This event keeps our students off the roads on an evening that traditionally has a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents.”

Project Grad provides a place where graduating students can celebrate their accomplishments in safety overnight with friends, fun, food, games, and prizes. They generally arrive at the venue at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. after they graduate, Peters said, and check out is not until 7 a.m. the following day.

Wilton Dunaway said he was prompted to come up with the idea for Bogalusa High School’s Project Grad in the early 1990s due to his concern for the youth of the city.

“My nephew had one at St. Amant High School, and it worked good,” he said. “So we decided to do one here to get the kids off the streets and to give them a good time. We didn’t call it Project Grad back then.

“It was different then. We invited the parents to stay about an hour and a half to two hours. The parents all donated and we gave away $100 every hour all night, and $500 at 5 in the morning. We hired three police officers, and we didn’t let anyone who had been drinking in. We tried to make it safe. We wanted the kids to have a good safe party.”

This year the fundraising goal is $45,000 to $50,000 to enable securing a venue and the purchase of gifts, prizes, games, food and scholarships.

“We try to have a basket for each kid, and there are 100 kids this year,” Peters said. “We’ll take donations of any kind, no matter how large or small.”

He encourages restaurants to donate food, or breakfasts, and all other businesses to donate as well.

They and individuals can send a check made payable to Project Graduation to P.O. Box 12, Bogalusa, LA. 70429.

For additional information, including the Tax ID number, call Peters at 985-570-3534.