With a couple of weeks to go, Senior Appreciation Night is still in need of eight volunteers to lead fun activities during the evening of graduation Saturday, June 2.
Senior Appreciation Night came about as a result of an upsurge of underage drinking and driving during the late 1970s and early 1980s when parties in the mountains, where police had no jurisdiction, were prevalent and led to several car wrecks and deaths.
A group of community members and organizations, led by then acting Chief of Police Gary Bequette, hoped to create an alternative celebration and they hosted a Senior Night in 1984. The graduates came in droves and now, 34 years later, this safe, supervised graduation celebration is officially known as Senior Appreciation Night, or SAN, and is held on the evening of graduation.
It is coordinated by County Parks and Recreation staff, The Family YMCA, and several community volunteers.
Los Alamos County supports SAN through the donation of staff and space, and The Family YMCA provides a co-chair and is the fiscal agent for the event. The public schools, the Youth Activity Center, Kiwanis, the DWI Planning Council and numerous churches, PTOs and businesses lend manpower and, or financial support to SAN.
In order to win the prizes, the youth must get a ticket punched at each of 11 events held throughout the night. Only youth with completely punched tickets are given a lottery slip to fill out at breakfast. The youth whose name is drawn first, gets first pick at the grant prizes, including $500.
The youth are given the ticket, a memento key chain, and a list of activities and sponsors during their graduation rehearsal. Each senior is allowed one guest and must show the key chain at each of the activities.
Volunteers are asked to contact Diana Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 505.662.3100.