Along with an in-person graduation ceremony, the Canby Graduation All Night Party is coming back this year — and organizers want to make sure it’s the biggest one ever.
“The main message we are trying to get out to seniors, parents and the community right now is that we are having that party on June 11 — right after graduation,” said Canby GAP Treasurer Debbie Kraft. “It’s happening.”
The popular event has a history in Canby spanning nearly four decades. As Brenda Griffin, president of the GAP organizing committee since 2012, explains, its goal has always been to create a safe and fun environment for seniors to celebrate the culmination of their public school careers.
“It’s all about safety,” she said. “You know, it’s a drug- and alcohol-free party that takes place at a really cool, secret location.”
Location is especially important this year, amid continuing coronavirus restrictions that place disparate capacity limitations on event venues in different counties.
Without giving the location away, Griffin said the venue is in a county with looser restrictions.
“They are telling us right now that we will be able to have more than 300 people, and we’ll be able to stay up past 11 p.m.,” she said with a laugh. “So we should be good.”
The theme of the Canby All Night Party this year is based on the reality show Survivor.
“The logo on the shirts has all the stuff that’s happened this year: the ice storm, the wildfires, Covid, the vaccine — all of it,” Kraft said. “We figured that 2020 and 2021 has been challenging for everyone, so we picked the Survivor theme. We are surviving it.”
Organizers also have not forgotten about the Class of 2020, whose end-of-the-year rites were derailed by the early days of the pandemic, including the All Night Party.
“We kept planning and planning and planning,” Griffin recalled. “We thought we would try to do something at the end of summer. Then we tried to plan something for Christmas. We just couldn’t make it work.”
Instead, the GAP committee is planning an All Night-style bash for the Class of 2020’s one-year reunion this summer. It will feature all the prizes, games, free food and entertainment that last year’s grads missed out on, with a couple of differences.
First, it will be a daytime affair. And second, teachers, administrators and other staff will be invited.
“We’re going to have the staff there, because these kids did not get to say goodbye to their teachers,” Griffin explained. free food, swimming pool, poker room, entertainment
The Graduation All Night Party is in need of donations from area businesses and individuals — as well as volunteers — to ensure this year’s events are the biggest and best in the history of Canby High School.
Donations are tax-deductible. For information about how to chip in, visit canbygap.com.
“We are so thankful for our community,” Griffin said. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the businesses and people of Canby.”
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