Keepin’ it safe and sober |

Keepin’ it safe and sober

To keep graduating high-schoolers off the roads and away from alcohol on their last night of school, parent volunteers and community members are arranging safe and sober grad night parties with music, dancing, casino tables, massage, fortune telling and prizes.

The Nevada Union Grad Night Club is hosting a party from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. June 7 at Club Sierra Sports and Fitness in Grass Valley; the theme is Egyptian.

The Bear River Grad Night Club is holding its party from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. June 6 at the Bear River multipurpose room and gym, with a pirate theme, organizers said.

“Statistics show that graduation night nationwide is the deadliest with respect to traffic fatalities, because people are partying,” said Heino Nicolai, a parent volunteer with the NU Grad Night. “So what we are doing is creating a safe, alcohol and drug-free environment to keep the kids off the highways in a very entertaining and memorable event.”

Parties for both schools include disc jockeys, hypnotists, magicians, belly dancing, sumo wrestling and rock climbing, organizers said. Food and nonalcoholic drinks will be served all night, organizers added.

The party for NU seniors has a budget of about $25,000, volunteer Tina Skrukrud. The Bear River Grad Night party costs about $26,000, according to parent volunteer Joanne Remillard.

Both events are greatly supported by donations from parents, local businesses and private donors, organizers said.

But due to the depressed economy the Nevada Union Grad Night Club is lacking in donations, Nicolai said.

“For the first time, this year, parents are donating more than businesses,” he said. “We are hurting.”

Attendees at the NU party will pay $45 per person, Nicolai said. Tickets for the Bear River party cost $30 for graduates and $35 for guests, Remillard said.

A lot of planning goes into hosting the parties.

Volunteers for the NU party have convened twice a month for about two hours since March, Nicolai said. About 100 parent volunteers will be present at the event, Skrukrud added.

Bear River High School will also have 150 parents working throughout the night of the event, Remillard added.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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