Project Graduation marks 25th year; may move to new SR aquatic facility
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 5:27 pm
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (May 21, 2010) — When more than 300 Waynesville High School students graduate this evening, many of them will be attending the 25th Annual Project Graduation, an annual event sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and supported by the cities of Waynesville and Saint Robert as well as numerous area businesses.
Intended as a drug-free and alcohol-free celebration to avoid graduation night problems that once routinely plagued high school graduations nationwide when relatively inexperienced teen drivers got behind the wheel and drove to private celebrations that might include less-than-wholesome activities, Kiwanis Club President Tim Berrier said Project Graduation has been a resounding success without a single graduation-related fatality, even among those who choose not to attend.
“Since we have started this project graduation no graduate has lost a life and we are so proud of that,” Berrier said in comments earlier this month to the St. Robert City Council.
Berrier said that during the years, community leaders have donated more than $147,000 worth of volunteer hours, more than 7,000 gift cards, gifts, prizes and awards, more than a thousand pizzas, and hundreds of pounds of chicken for Project Graduation activities at various local locations.
This year’s Project Graduation will be from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. at Davidson Fitness Center on Fort Leonard Wood, but Berrier said the new pool and water park under construction in St. Robert may be a choice for the future.
“We were actually discussing this just the other day, with the new aquatic center hopefully we can bring that back to us, because this is where it started right over there at St Robert Community Center with the rec rink,” Berrier said. “We thank you from the Kiwanis Club and also the graduating seniors thank you.”
Some of the local aldermen have children graduating and said at the May 3 city council meeting they’d be at Project Graduation; others don’t have children graduating but are choosing to volunteer their time to support the community.