Friday, May 26, 2006

Valley lends hand to high school seniors

Largest graduating class ever fêted by community


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Just a few of the 2006 WRHS graduates at the recent senior prom.

The annual Senior Bash held immediately after the Wood River High School graduation on Wednesday, May 31, is benefiting from the largess of the Wood River Valley community, said one of the seniors' parents, Anita McCann, of Ketchum. There are 207 students graduating, the largest class ever for the Wood River Valley. Silver Creek Alternative School's eight graduates are included as well in the drug and alcohol free festivities.

The "Miami Vice" themed Senior Bash is being held in the high school commons area, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. At 10:15 p.m. the doors will close, after which anyone leaving will not be able to return.

Organizers are providing some creative entertainment. A well-known celebrity DJ is coming in from Florida to spin his magic for dancing at the party. There will also be a hypnotist, a palm reader, games, photos and raffle prizes with several drawings taking place during the event. Each graduate automatically receives 10 free raffle tickets when they enter. The graduate must be present to win any raffle prizes.

"Basically it's drug free, alcohol free, in a safe environment, and they'll have a great time," McCann said. "The music should be incredible and we're hoping we'll get 100 percent involved."

Along with chairs Beth Becks and Pam Fairfax, the Senior Bash committee also includes Teresa Laird, Jana Orchard, Tara Ooms, Roberta Christensen, Linda Parsons, Ann Mason, McCann and other volunteers who are doing every thing from chaperoning to writing thank you cards to donors.

"We are looking to having every parent send $25 or whatever they can afford," McCann said. "The valley businesses have been so gracious over the years with prizes and cash. Restaurants and Atkinsons' have donated food."

The raffle tickets can be used towards any prize they want, McCann said. There are smaller prizes that are good for college, jewelry, a $300 Atkinson's Market gift card, hundreds of gift certificates and a grand prize of a new Apple laptop computer. Drawings will take place between midnight and 2 p.m., and again between 2 and 3 a.m. including the drawing for the laptop and two $500 scholarships from the Ketchum/Sun Valley Rotary for a student going to college.

Among the businesses and organizations that chipped in are the Papoose Club, Ketchum City Council and Sun Valley City Council, which each year gives $1,000 to the bash, Hailey Rotary, Backwoods Mountain Sports, Elephant's Perch and Sturtevants. The Sawtooth Board of Realtors, McCann-Daech-Fenton, Magic Valley Regional Medical Center and St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center each gave $500. Creative Edge of Hailey helped obtain iPods and the new Apple laptop.

"The majority of businesses throughout the entire valley have contributed, but we'll take more," McCann said. "Chateau is giving a wonderful laundry bag of goodies, and even past parents still continue to contribute because everyone just believes in this so much. Everyone is happy that there is a safe environment for them to celebrate.

"We'd just like to say to these kids 100 percent of your parents supported you. If there's any money left it goes to a fund for their first reunion."

Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Blaine County Education Foundation. Write "Senior Bash" in a check's subject line, and send to BC Ed. Foundation, c/o Roberta Christensen, 134 S. Hiawatha Drive, Hailey, ID 83333.




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