Every year, there's a new batch of kids who make their way through their graduating year. And every year, the parents, friends and family all those students have a small, nagging worry in the back of their minds about their graduate's safety when it comes to their celebrations. That's why so many groups in our area spearhead their own Project Graduations. They want the kids to have fun, they want them to celebrate their proud achievements, but they want it done safely.

The main goal of Project Graduation activities are to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking, drugging and driving and to reduce the number of youth involved in alcohol and other drug-related highway crashes. All school-related functions are supposed to be chemical-free, but what makes Project Graduation different is the attitude of the students. They have made a conscious decision to enjoy their graduation night without alcohol or other drugs, and no other group, including parents and school personnel, can make that decision for students.

So now is really the time to start thinking about how you can help with different projects in Sedalia and our surrounding area. Here's a few of the local Project Graduation fundraisers, and if your school has one that we don't know about yet, give us the lowdown!

The Crest Ridge Project Graduation is going to have a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. Oct. 19, 2013 at 6 p.m. A pizza buffet will be included in the ticket price. Tickets are $35 prior to the day of the event and $40 at the door. 1st place $500 (with minimum 75 players). Pays out top 3 places. There will be a Chip Raffle, Add Ons and Rebuys and a Final Seat Auction. All proceeds benefit the Crest Ridge Class of 2014 Project Graduation. For more information contact Amy Shippy (660) 238-1355.

The Smithton Class of 2014 will have a monthly 5k Run/Walk for their Project Graduation. It’ll be held on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 9:00 a.m. The registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Smithton City Park. Adult admission is $10 and for children the cost is $5. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants under 18 must have a parental signature. For more information contact Cynthia McMullen at 660-553-0690.

The Smith-Cotton Project Fundraiser in Sedalia is also starting up. Tickets are $100 and provide two chicken dinners complete with cheesy potatoes, green beans, rolls and dessert, and a chance to win cash – there is a $2500 grand prize, plus other prizes ranging from $50 to $1,500. There also will be a silent auction for themed baskets. Dinner is 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Smith-Cotton High School cafeteria. All proceeds will be used to pay for the Project Graduation party for the Class of 2014, held the night of Commencement. For tickets or to make donations, call Laura Akin, (660) 473-9682; Kelly Burkholder, (660) 620-1840; or Amy Simoncic, (660) 287-4118.

Make your contribution today to be sure the graduating class of 2014 has a safe, responsible, and fun graduation this year.

Graduatingly yours,


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