Hall High School’s Class of 2018 enjoyed a ‘Hall’ night Safe Grad event that began at 10 p.m. following Tuesday’s graduation, and lasted until early Wednesday morning.
By Ryley McGinnis
Lights, cameras, neon: these are just some of the decorations that covered the Hall High cafeteria for the themed “Up Hall Night” Safe Grad event that began just hours after graduation Tuesday night.
The cafeteria was transformed into a neon paradise with palm trees, black lights, and cardboard cutouts of popular talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon for the annual post-graduation Safe Grad event. The night is meant to celebrate the new graduates while also keeping them safe, and the grads are enticed every year with a fun time as well as the chance to win some big and small prizes ranging from gift cards to a mini-fridge or headphones.
Cheryl Wolmer, event co-chair and one of the many parents to work on the Safe Grad committee, said that almost every grad received some sort of prize, and each grad was gifted a goodie bag. The goodie bags included a small laundry bag with a free water bottle, toothbrush and a Hall High blanket. Kids turned in their keys and other items at check-in for the night, and they were returned to them at the end of the night in their goodie bags, Wolmer said.
Smaller prizes were awarded throughout the night but in order to get the big prizes, the grads had to stay tuntil the end. The students were able to leave around 4 a.m. after the last prizes were announced.
“Everyone wants to win a prize, it makes them feel special,” said Wolmer.
As of 10 a.m. Tuesday the attendance rate based on RSVPs was already at about 75 percent, said Wolmer, “I expect about 90 percent by tonight, there are a lot of last-minute sign-ups.”
Other attractions at Safe Grad included a massage therapist, temporary tattoo artists, a photo booth, DJ, bouncy houses, life-size games like Jenga, and a whole lot of food. Vendors like A.C. Petersen’s, Big Y, numerous pizza places, and more donated all of the food for the event.
A vendor also donated charging stations, so the new grads could lock their phones into a small compartment to charge, and not have to worry about it being stolen or lost throughout the night.
There was also a quiet room, where graduates could go to relax, watch a movie and take a breather from dancing, bouncing or any number of the many activities.
Another main attraction was a wall of the graduates’ baby pictures. If you lifted up the decorated photo you could see their senior photo, which in many cases showed major transformations.
As for the setup, Wolmer said the biggest challenge was definitely coordination. “Getting everything set up in such a short time, making sure people are here to take it all down once it ends, it’s a lot.”
Approximately 300 parent volunteers helped out at the event in various shifts throughout the long night, Wolmer said. “My favorite saying is ‘many hands make light work,'” said Wolmer.
Most of the Safe Grad committee consisted of parents of the graduates, but on the night itself many underclassman parents gave a helping hand as well.
Each year the committee comes up with different ideas and notes from the previous years are passed down, said Wolmer. “It really is great putting it all together, and the night is going to be epic,” she said Tuesday.
A huge thank you is due to all of the sponsors and people who donated, Wolmer said. The night would not be the same without all of the help needed to make the event happen each year.
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