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Sober grad party back on

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com

On the verge of canceling the annual safe and sober party for Carson High School graduates, Jane Brinson put out a final plea for volunteers in the Oct. 21 edition of the Nevada Appeal.

At the time, she was one of only three people willing to serve, and at least 11 were needed to chair the various committees.

Within three days of the article’s publication, she said, she had filled all the chairman positions. And nearly 70 volunteers attended a planning meeting Tuesday evening.

“I can’t even believe this,” Brinson said. “I think it’s an expression that the community cares about the graduating seniors. It’s about keeping them safe, but it’s also a memory for them.”

Although Lexine Thompson’s daughter graduated in 2005, Thompson signed up to help with this year’s event after hearing of its possible demise.

“Other parents did it for my daughter, and I didn’t want to see it go away,” she said.

The Safe Grad tradition started in 1988 as a way to keep seniors safe on graduation night. It begins with a party at the Carson City Community Center and culminates with a 6 a.m. bus trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif.

It began just a few years after Brenda Collings graduated from Carson High School. She’s served on the Safe Grad committee for four years, and will continue to do so, but is happy to pass on the leadership responsibility.

“I’m super-passionate about this because in my senior class, several people died from drunk driving accidents,” she said. “I really want to see it keep going.”

Steve Sweeney, a parent of a former graduate, is happy to be involved this year.

“It keeps the kids safe, and they have fun,” he said. “The other option is partying and drinking and driving, so this is a great thing.”

Now that volunteers have stepped up, Brinson said, the next step will be fundraising, which will likely begin in January.