Project Graduation is a big deal at Grapevine High School — a program designed to keep seniors off the roads in a safe, overnight lock-in event on graduation night.
This year, their graduation celebration will be held from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. at Main Event Entertainment in Grapevine, where about 500 teens can party the night away in a drug and alcohol free venue with bowling, laser tag, a hypnotist and casino games.
The free venue and its fun features, such as loads of prizes, does not come cheap.
Organizer and mom Jennifer Broussard — mom of Ashton — said they need to raise at least $65,000 to provide the students with a safe celebration. The fundraisers range from a High Roller Hoedown casino night on Feb. 7 to a concert at the Palace Theatre on Feb. 15 featuring bands Honorable Mention and Ivory Tribes.
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But their imagination took flight when setting up a funny fundraiser: Flamingo Flocking.
Here’s how the fun begins: In the dead of the night, students, parents and other organizers place flocks of plastic flamingos in the yards of their friends and at participating businesses.
Then, the person who got “flamingoed” has to pay to have them removed. The minimum cost is $25 with a $65 fee to buy “insurance” so the flamingos won’t return.
Also, the “flockee” is notified that for a minimum donation of $25, they will remove the flock and send it to the yard of a friend.
Businesses pay a minimum of $50 to evict the flock with higher fees for insurance and re-flocking.
“We have twelve flocks of eight,” Broussard said. “Our stealth flockers are never caught, even when there are dogs in the yards. People wake up to the flamingos and ask, ‘How did this happen?’”
The flamingos migrate from victim to victim. One early hit was Superintendent Robin Ryan, who sent out a tweet about it.
On Dec. 10, a group gathered at Which Wich in Colleyville to flamingo the willing business.
Senior class president Sierra Villalobos, 18, who was among the teens and parents at the restaurant, said the fundraiser “encourages students to get involved with their high school.”
Plus, she said, “They see how much fun it is.”
She was excited when she got a flock on her lawn, especially because she lives in Southlake, a longer distance many other students.
Kathryn Crowley, 17, a cheerleader, recalled, “I was excited at walking outside and seeing all the flamingos,” adding, “I was pretty surprised.”
Hannah Allen, 18, says its fun to be part of the area campaign.
It’s like a big train,” the senior said.
Denise Procaccino — mom of senior Dominic — said that as of Dec. 15, the group had raised about $8,000 with plans to double that amount. The flocking goes through April. For more information, call her at 817-988-6148 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, go to http://projectgraduationghs.wordpress.com.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367