OUR VIEW: Time for grads to celebrate in a safe wayTHE POINT: Project Graduation is a safe party for graduating seniors at both high schools and you can help by volunteering or donating.

It’s almost over now. On Friday and Saturday seniors at Odessa High School and Permian High School will be seniors no more.
They will be graduates with their whole lives in front of them.
The final hurrah will be the annual tradition of Project Graduation, which is a save alternative for graduates to celebrate their big day. The plans are set but organizers say they still need both donations and volunteers.
The graduates will make that walk across the stage — OHS on Friday and Permian on Saturday — and head into their post-high school lives. But before that new life begins — both schools will celebrate with the big event that offers food, games and, of course, lots and lots of prizes. But it needs your help.
The free party goes from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. both graduation nights at the Odessa College Sports Complex, and parents are informed if a student decides to leave. They save the best prizes for the end of the night as incentive to hang around. This year’s graduates have been afforded the opportunity to celebrate graduation night in a safe and secure manner that still encourages fun and school spirit.
But that won’t happen if Odessans and Odessa businesses don’t pitch in this year, because not enough money has been raised to fund Project Graduation for both Permian and OHS. The parties still need both funds and volunteers.
Project Graduation provides students a night of entertainment and chances to win prizes without the dangers of illegal substances and drinking and driving.
Organizers at both schools need a boost to raise enough money and donations to fund the events.
No funding comes from Ector County Independent School District.
For both schools the plan is to purchase items students may need for college such as computers and TVs. An incentive to stay the whole night is that grads could win big prizes.
The two high schools work together in sharing some costs for the large rentals, though each party is held after each graduation. All donations are tax deductible as Project Graduation, which has been around since about 1988, is a nonprofit 501(c)3.
So, lend a hand or some cash and help grads from both OHS and Permian have a safe and fun night.