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High Schools Gear Up for All-Night Parties

Mount Vernon and West Potomac seniors heading to Dave & Busters.

West Potomac High School (WPHS) parents are busy getting ready for the “Senior Cruise,” otherwise known as the All-Night Graduation Celebration.

This event has always been called the “Senior Cruise,” stemming from the motto, “Cruise Without Booze.” Yet, the Class of 2005 will be on dry land for all of the festivities as this year’s All-Night Graduation Celebration will be held at Dave and Buster’s located in White Flint Mall in Rockville, Maryland.

As they did the year before, the graduates will meet at WPHS and ride buses to and from the event. They will then participate in all the fun that Dave and Buster’s has to offer — video games, virtual reality games, casino tables, music and food.

This is the 18th year that the graduates of West Potomac High School have held an all-night celebration. For many years, it was held at the Belle Haven Country Club. The purpose of the event is to provide a fun atmosphere that lets the graduates celebrate safely.

Planning is well in hand, but publicity chair Pat Dewey said that they need parent volunteers and donations.

Flyers have been sent to parents telling them that one of the first obstacles to be tackled is raising the funds for this event. Tickets will be sold to offset some of the costs, but raising a large portion of the funds will keep ticket prices reasonable, allowing as many graduates as possible to attend. Funds for this event will not come from WPHS or Senior Class money.

Many local businesses have been contacted with a request to make donations. The steering committee is also asking Wolverine parents for donations toward the cost.

“We really need help — either in time or in a donation … or both,” Dewey said.

WPHS parents are entirely responsible for the planning the senior All-Night Graduation Celebration (ANGC). This chaperoned, alcohol/drug-free event allows WPHS graduating seniors to celebrate safely in an “all-the-fun-they-can-stand environment.”

The All-Night Grad Memories Committee is in need of students’ kindergarten pictures. They will be included in a time capsule that will be reopened at reunions.

Photos should be brought in by May 20, with students’ name written legibly on the back of your picture and placed in an envelope marked Attn: ANGC Memories Committee.

Drop the envelope off in the office mail room in the All-Night Grad Committee slot. Any questions, call Michelle LeBlanc at 703-822-0702.

AT MOUNT VERNON HIGH SCHOOL (MVHS), Betty Jean and Gary Hall are coordinating the all-night party. Betty Hall said that the committee plans to return to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center, the place where they have gone in past years. However, when students came to her and asked if Dave & Buster’s could be an option, they said that they would consider it.

Hall said that she and many of the parents had never heard of the place, and she went up there to check it out. She and other members of the committee also spoke to West Potomac parents who said that their first event last year was a big success.

Hall said that they have met their financial goal, mostly through their annual mulch sale. That venture made $9,000, but they also brought in another $5,000 by working at MCI Center’s concession stand.

“That’s what really brought our group together — working at the MCI Center,” Hall said. “We also do a wonderful mulch sale — that made $9,000. Our goal as parents is to make money to bring [the] price of tickets down.”

She credits the success of fundraising to many people, but in particular thanks the Layton family, the Bea family and the Halls.

“We thank the community for the mulch sale, they support us. We sold and delivered almost 6,000 bags of mulch,” Hall said.

Many local businesses are responsible for the success of Mount Vernon’s Grad party and Hall would like to acknowledge the following organizations: WAL-Mart Foundation; Don Beyer Volvo; Fort Belvoir Community Committee; Virginia State Police Association & Virginia Department of Education; Master Roofing and Siding; Keany Produce Co.; Mt Vernon Manor Citizens Association; Village Hardware; E.P. Mowing and Landscaping Inc.; Mount Vernon on the Potomac Citizens Association; "Jim's Electric Motor Company, Inc."; Mount Vernon Capital Corporation; Family Opticians; Dr. Richard Fiorucci; Sherwood Hall Pharmacy; Bethlehem Baptist Church; Mount Vernon Civic Association; Patricia A. King and Robert S. King; The Potomac Advocates; James Geren DDS and Christine Geren; Chris and Peggy White; "Smitty's Building Supply, Inc.;" Pinewood Lake Homeowners Association; Mount Vernon Manor Citizens Association; Mount Vernon Evening Lions Club; Pampered Chef Fundraiser; CHD Associates Ltd. Structural Engineers; Bennett Adjusting Company; "Pretty Pets, Inc.;" Riverside Estates Civic Association; John Digravio DBA; Renic Associates; Riverside Elementary PTA; Rex Reiley; Bennett Adjusting Company; Hollin Hall Automotive; L.F. Jennings Inc.; Engleside Lions Club; Firestone; Mount Vernon District Lions Club; Washington Mill Elementary School; COSTCO; Holly Wood and Vines; Dandy Cruises, and Irene Digravio.

Mary Beth Jordan, senior subschool administrative assistant, said that now that the planning is underway that they are hoping more students will sign up for the event.

Hall said that Dave & Busters has special packages for after-prom and after-grad packages suitable for high schools. She said that they have been very accommodating. In addition to the activities provided by Dave & Busters, MVHS will bring in a caricature artist for students.

“It’s a safe chaperoned party; it keep teens off the road,” Hall said.