By Victoria Fregoso, Lead Reporter at County10.com, photos by parent volunteers
(Riverton, Wyo.) – For the past 13 years the Project Graduation program for Riverton High School has provided graduates with a safe, fun place to go the night of graduation. “It’s a staged all night party, where no alcohol or substance abuse is allowed,” said Robyn Ashdown, a parent volunteer for the program. About 88 seniors went to the event that was held at the Wolverine gym. It started the night of Sunday May 27th and wrapped up early the next morning.
The very first Project Graduation for RHS began in 2000. Before that, Ashdown said parents of the graduated seniors would host parties at their homes and the new graduates would go from one party to another. Since it began, Ashdown said it has made a big difference in the safety of the seniors that decide to celebrate. “Seniors look forward to it because it gives them some where to go and celebrate with their friends.” Every year it’s the parents of seniors that organize the event, this year 12 parents were on the committee.
Food, games, rock climbing and contests were part of the celebration. About $6,000 worth of prizes were given away which included computer printers, DVD players, dorm refrigerators, Kindle Fires, cameras, an iPod, televisions and more. It takes a total of $10,000 to put on the event, the money comes from donations. “We had good support from the community. It (Project Graduation) has a good reputation. The community is a really good supporter,” Ashdown said. Some of the large donors were ConocoPhillips with a donation of $2,500 and $3,000 from the Fremont County Recreation Board. County 10 also made a contribution to the event, donating a $50 gift card for iTunes and a $50 Visa gift card.
Students were also able to enjoy drinks from Mud Espresso and had their photos taken by Lehman Studio.