Celebrations offer safe venue for 2016 graduates

Seniors from Farragut and Bearden High schools and Hardin Valley Academy again will have a safe place to celebrate their graduation.

Parent volunteers from each of the schools have organized graduation celebrations for their seniors at Cool Sports, Home of the Icearium at 110 S. Watt Road, Farragut.

“This is something safe for your child versus going to a party,” Martha Filipkowski, HVA Grad Night chairwoman, said. “It’s an opportunity for students to see classmates and be together.”

“We have an action-packed evening planned for our graduating seniors,” Lori Moczadio, Graduation Celebration event chairwoman, said. “We expect between 200 to 250 students to attend.”

FHS’ celebration will take place from 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 18, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 19. Cost to attend is $35 per student.

The celebrations are lock-down events, so graduates will have to stay from when they check in to 5 a.m. the following morning. Celebration activities for all seniors include a casino, ice skating and games, such as a casino for some and flag football for others.

FHS’ event will include a D.J. karaoke, photo booth, obstacle course, a jousting ring, corn hole, four square and a sports arena.

“We hope the students will have an amazing time celebrating their graduation night with their friends.”

This year Bearden High School and Hardin Valley Academy planners have combined resources to hold their events.

“We’re sharing a lot of the costs of holding the events with Bear-den High School,” Filipkowski said. “It’s been great to partner with them.”

“When Bearden's graduation was changed to Thursday night this year, we approached Hardin Valley Academy since their graduation date was changed to Wednesday,” Tracey Ford, BHS Graduation Celebration chairwoman, said.

“Both of our concerns with the change from our normal graduation days is that we feel it will be more of a challenge to find chaperons that will stay all night during the work week,” Ford said.

HVA scheduled its Graduation Celebration 11 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, while BHS will hold its Grad Night from 11 a.m., Thursday, May 19, to 5 a.m., Friday, May 20.

The cost for HVA students to attend their celebration is $25 per student in advance and $40 at the door.

“We are doing a Hollywood theme,” It’s run by all parent volunteers,” Filipkowski said. “Sal-lee Reynolds, our principal, has been such a huge advocate of this. She wants to keep students safe.

“Many volunteer hours go into planning this event and many volunteers are needed to work the night of the event to ensure our grads are kept safe in a fun environment,” Ford said.

For more information, contact Ford at 865-850-0047, Filipkowski at mefilipkowski@gmail.com and Moczadio at 865-671-2221.