SOUTHINGTON - The â€śAll Knight Graduation Partyâ€ť Committee has established a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a safe, fun night of celebration for graduating high school seniors.
The party, named after the schoolâ€™s Blue Knights football team, will be held from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on graduation night in the gym, cafeteria and auditorium at Southington High School at 720 Pleasant St. The graduates will be able to eat, dance, win prizes, play games, and enjoy one last night together.
â€śStatistics show that there is a higher chance for students driving drunk or under the influence of substances on graduation night,â€ť said Dave Pestillo, who co-chairs the event with his wife, Michelle. â€śWe want to provide a safe environment for students to celebrate with one last hurrah. The kids are overwhelmed now, but once they are done dealing with exams, scholarships and looking at colleges, they have a great time. This party is like a breath of fresh air for them knowing that they wonâ€™t have to do any more homework.â€ť
The party is sponsored by donations from retailers, parents, and other community supporters. More than 300 volunteers, including parents, local seniors and other community members, will be there to supervise and run the event.
Pestillo said that the party will have a â€ścarnival concept.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™ll have bounce houses, a DJ, a hypnotist and a variety of other games,â€ť he said. â€śThere will be a ton of food - nobody will go home hungry.â€ť
Pestillo said that he is looking for volunteers to sign-up to work the party. He is also reaching out to businesses for raffle prizes and food donations. The GoFundMe page, he said, was established to make fundraising efforts easier. Since it was created Jan. 23, Pestillo said that the committee has raised more funds than they had collected at this time last year.
Pestillo said that the graduation party committee will also be selling graduation lawn signs, which will be available soon. The signs will be $25, but people will also be able to pay an additional $25 to be entered into a raffle for a chance to win preferred seats at the graduation ceremony.
This will be Dave and Michelle Pestilloâ€™s fifth year and last chairing the event, which has been held for 25 years, as they are preparing to move to Tennessee. Dave Pestillo said that it has been a â€śgreat eventâ€ť and both he and his wife wished the high school seniors well.
â€śI wish you all good luck in your future endeavors and Iâ€™m excited for you,â€ť said Michelle Pestillo. â€śRemember to take one day at a time - you donâ€™t have to figure it all out right away.â€ť
â€śDonâ€™t be afraid to make mistakes as long as you learn from them,â€ť said Dave Pestillo.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/shs-2019-all-quotknightquot-grad-party.
Donation levels include platinum, $2,001 to $5,000, gold, $1,001 to $2,000, silver, $501 to $1,000, bronze, $250 to $500, and Knight Rider, $100 to $249.
For further information, or to sign-up to become a volunteer at the party, visit the All Knight Graduation Party Committeeâ€™s Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/548843562301035.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.