Gradfest gets better and better


Cue the longstanding tradition; Pomp and Circumstance. On Sunday, June 2nd, Carmel High School graduates starting with Renee Aadson and ending with Ryan Zukerman will walk across the graduation ceremony stage while proud parents look on. They will receive several handshakes and then collect the reward authenticating four years of hard work; a Carmel Greyhounds diploma. The next steps they take will hurtle them toward all the world has to offer.

The hurtle part is what got some parents thinking 25 years ago about how to keep our precious graduates safe after their victorious walk across the stage. This year, Jean Freudenthal is the chairperson for CHS Gradfest and another fun, free, exciting and safe evening is planned for the new graduates in the Freshman Center from 8 p.m. to midnight on June 2. She and her dedicated committee of 25 parents know they carry on a tradition which gets larger and more popular every year. Well more than 85 percent of the Senior Class this year will appear ready to take home their share of food, money, prizes and memories.

Mary Ann Williams has invited 200 volunteers who are to show up during the evening and help with tasks from running the cash cube to emptying trash cans. Kathleen Roop took on the chore of contacting corporations to secure funding for the event. However, it is traditional that each year, individuals from Carmel go to and commit a few bucks to the cause. That is where the real money is raised as a show of support to keeping graduation night as safe as any other.

The kids get to deck themselves out in special outerwear with a Class of 2013 theme thanks to Bibi Weprish and Wendy DeLuca. Mindy Jasin and Bridget Bonta promise challenging yet rewarding games along with great entertainment that helps lure in that 85 percent. And the prizes. Probably the best part of the evening is watching these kids haul refrigerators, computers, gaming systems and huge boxes of loot to their cars. Everyone leaves happy and glad they came thanks to the prize committee of Suzanne Pfenninger, Khristy White and Cheri DiCarlo. They have been shopping since last August, making sure their dollars go as far as possible.

Jean sums it up best by saying, “All of the hard work is worth it to see our graduates have so much safe fun on graduation eve.”  It is not too late to donate or get involved. Contact Jean at 697-8183.