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Volunteers Needed - OHS Sober Grad Slated
0529 Sober Grad 1
Oakdale High School graduates had fun with a variety of games, such as these grads who played Foosball and ate cotton candy, at the 2013 Sober Grad Night party. - photo by Photo Contributed

Oakdale High School seniors are nearing graduation and to keep them safe on a night of celebration, the 2014 Oakdale Sober Grad Night (SGN) committee has been busy at work for many months preparing to make the giant, all-night party fun.

Oakdale SGN chairperson Maria Cobarruvias and food chair Julie Burchell said that they’re expecting at least between 200 to 250 new graduates to attend the Sober Grad Night party this year.

Oakdale Sober Grad Night will take place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, May 23 on the campus of Sierra View Elementary School, 1323 East J St., Oakdale. Doors close at 11 p.m. and there are no re-entry privileges. The theme this year is Tropical Paradise and the décor is reflective of the theme.

“This is a safe place that they’ll be able to celebrate their accomplishment. That’s the main reason I got involved with this… It’s to keep them all safe,” Cobarruvias said.

“I think they’ll have a fun time with their friends they just graduated with,” Burchell added. “It’s a great way for them to end their high school careers – celebrating together at a safe party.”

Volunteers are essential for helping to run games, help with prizes, and other aspects of SGN.

“Our main need at this point would be volunteers for the night of Grad Night,” Cobarruvias said.

“We would love to have more volunteers, especially parents of underclassmen,” Burchell added.

The pair said that they are good with volunteers for set up and the Oakdale Lions Club has volunteered again to do the cleanup but they need people to work the shifts of the event. The shifts are from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. and 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. To volunteer, send an e-mail to or send a message through Facebook at the Oakdale Sober Grad Night page.

For the new graduates, everything is included in the price of a ticket. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. They may be purchased through the bright pink Sober Grad flier that all seniors received and checks may be mailed to Oakdale Sober Grad Night, P.O. Box 333, Oakdale, CA 95361. They may also be purchased at OHS on Friday, May 9 at lunchtime in front of the school gym and later that evening at the start of Senior Sunset. They will also be on sale on Monday, May 12 at lunch in front of the gym. The Sober Grad Night committee is also now able to accept credit cards for payment. For more information, contact SGN board member Kyle Richardson at (209) 840-0100.

Students who are unable to afford SGN tickets are covered through sponsorships. Sponsors and cash or in-kind donations are also still being accepted. Use the aforementioned contact information to learn more.

Every grad in attendance gets entered into the prize drawing and there are many drawings throughout the evening – approximately one every minute – in order to meet the goal of having every student go home with a prize. Some of the prizes include gift cards from local restaurants and businesses, cash, a mini-fridge, bicycle, tent, digital camera, computer, and TV. The big-ticket item prize drawings will be held near the end of the event and students must be present to win.

There will be a deejay, a rock wall, hypnotist, airbrush tattoos, Spec Ops laser tag, casino games, a balloon artist, movie room, caricature artist, video games, giant inflatable games, photo booth, table games and more. There is also lots of food including pizza, burritos, chicken strips, wings, salad, chips, desserts and ice cream, hot cocoa, soda and water.

Cobarruvias and Burchell also talked about how important it is to start preparing for next year’s SGN and for potential committee members to get on board.

“This is mostly a committee of parents of senior kids,” Cobarruvias said. “There’s going to be a few people stepping away… This is such a great event. We encourage participation from all parents.”

She added that it’s good to have parents of younger kids learning the ropes of planning Sober Grad Night, as it makes for an easier transition from year to year. She also said that even previous OHS grads are welcome to volunteer or be on the committee. This year, a fairly recent OHS grad handles social media postings for the SGN committee. Due to having such a good time at her Sober Grad Night, she wanted to help because she has a younger sibling who’s graduating this year.