Donations needed for Project Graduation

February 2023 Posted in Community, School

By Melissa Wagoner

When Erin Scott discovered Silverton High School’s senior class – of which her oldest son is a member – did not have enough money to hold the traditional Grad Night celebration she was alarmed.

“I can still remember every detail of my Grad Night,” she said, noting that, although she graduated from a Portland area high school, the tradition was similar – a drug and alcohol-free, post-graduation celebration combining food, fun and gift bags for the entire graduating class.

“This is the last big thing you get to do with your class,” Scott said of the importance of this post-graduation tradition. “And for a lot of kids that’s the only present they get for graduation.”

But putting on a celebration of this caliber for over 200 students doesn’t come cheap.

“We have maybe $2,500 and the place alone is $3,400,” Scott said. “So, we have to make a lot of money very fast.”

That’s because the usual Grad Night fundraising effort, last year’s Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Donate Dodgeball Tournament – which would have traditionally been gifted to the students their junior year – was used to fund the Grad Night for the class of 2022.

“We need to get back to giving it to the juniors,” Scott said, explaining how the previous method of fundraising a year in advance has long been the key to ensuring each graduating class has the required funds. “So, this year [the dodgeball proceeds] will be split.”

It’s a split that’s necessary to get the fundraiser timeline back on track, but it means this year’s class, and potentially next year’s as well, will be looking for other ways to fund Grad Night. Which is how the Couch Potato fundraiser came about.

“You don’t have to go anywhere or buy anything,” the parent committee wrote in a press release describing the project. “From the comfort of your couch, you can help the class of 2023 celebrate together one last time.”

And potentially help the class of 2024 as well, because at least half of this year’s dodgeball proceeds – as well as any extra funds – would go into their account for next year.

“We want people to sign up for the dodgeball tournament,” Scott, dodgeball volunteer coordinator – said. “But wouldn’t it be amazing if we raised $25,000 [through Couch Potato donations] so we could say to dodgeball, ‘No thank you,’ and to the juniors, ‘Here you go’?”

More information on the Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, April 8  is at (team registration due March 1). More information on the Couch Potato is at

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