This year’s Grad Blast organizers are significantly ahead in terms of gathering donations and organizing volunteers for the annual event designed to keep local graduating seniors in a secure location for the all-important night during which they celebrate the end of their high school career as compared to last year’s event for which a last-minute effort was launched to pull off the annual event.
Grad Blast is a decades-old event in the Chugiak-Eagle River area that is open to all graduating seniors from public, private and homeschooling venues. It is billed as an alcohol-free and drug-free lock-in event.
Yet, as Patty Ortiz-Perham, the 2017 Grad Blast committee chair, states, “we are still in need to make this event a success.”
Grad Blast is set to occur from 10 p.m. starting on Tues., May 16 at the Harry J. McDonald Center. The event ends at 8 a.m. the following day with a breakfast for the seniors prior to departure.
Between those times, hundreds of graduated seniors will be hungry and thirsty.
Grad Blast organizers seek food donations from local restaurants to fill the need.
Past Grad Blast parties have included gifts from local businesses for the graduating seniors. These can be gift cards or items from local stores such as videos, CDs, gaming systems, computer items such as iPads or laptops, cellular phones, jewelry, fragrances, headphones, etc. This year, Ortiz-Perham said some items have been donated, but more is needed to cover the number of graduating seniors.
“It would be terrific if each graduating senior receives a gift,” she said.
A variety of entertainment options are planned for inside the MAC the night of Grad Blast. A favorite from last year’s event is returning: a bucking apparatus that challenges a graduate’s ability.
As in previous years, Grad Blast provides bus transportation between Saint Andrews Church and the MAC venue. Event attendees must ride the provided transportation to and from to gain admittance to the event.
The organizing committee still seeks volunteers from the community to work as chaperones at the event and to screen graduates at the bus pickup point for any substance abuse.
To donate to the event or to volunteer to work that night, contact Ortiz-Perham via email at: [email protected].
Editor’s Note: Patty Ortiz-Perham is an elementary health instructor at Eagle River and Ravenwood Elementary schools.