When Janice Miller was planning the first All Night Grad Party in 1988 for Fairfax HS, she was one of just 15 PTSA members in schools throughout Northern Virginia to undertake such a large event. The beach themed night at the school had a boardwalk with games, casino, fortune teller, DJ, dancing and a lot of food to feed the almost 275 teenagers throughout the night and in the morning. The night was designed to provide the graduates a place to celebrate together in a safe environment.
“Hosting All Night Grad is an opportunity for ALL students to spend one last time together as a class,” said Miller. “Traditionally graduation night is a time when young people could make poor choices regarding their personal safety. Holding an alcohol free, drug free event provides our students a fun and safe alternative.”
This year, Fairfax HS PTSA will be taking on the challenge of organizing the 34th annual event during the time of COVID. Wendy Everard, parent of a senior and co-chairman of the event, looks forward to providing the seniors with one final event to celebrate together.
“It’s been a challenging few years for our seniors as they attempted to navigate this time of uncertainty with social distancing, online schooling, and planning for their future after graduation,” said Everard. “Our students are an integral part of the community, working part time jobs and volunteering in addition to classwork and athletics or clubs. The All Night Grad Committee is working hard to make this celebration a reality for the Class of 2022”
The event will be held on May 31, the evening of the Fairfax HS graduation for the class of about 550 students at the St. James Sports Complex in Springfield. The graduates will enjoy a DJ dance party, casino games, basketball, soccer, indoor obstacle course and more. Early bird prices are $50 with reduced prices for $25 for student in financial need and $65 after April 1st. Other schools in the area for similar events are charging closer to $100.
“We polled our seniors, and they made it clear the most important factor to them was reasonably priced tickets to the event,” said Woody Slaymaker, member of the ANG planning committee. “They were willing to forego prizes if it meant more of their peers could join in the fun”.
Financed by donations and school fundraisers, the ANG Committee seeks out businesses and individuals willing to support their goal to make the evening affordable to graduates of all income levels. The committee is holding a silent auction for the community to help alleviate costs for the students.
To make a contribution to All Night Grad Celebration, visit https://www.fairfaxptsa.org/about-all-night-grad-ang
For information on local business partnerships, contact Katy Malesky at [email protected]
For information on Silent Auction in-kind donations contact Erica Sergent at [email protected]