Joe Battista | Supporting Our Local State High Kids: It Takes a Community
It’s that time of the year when “For the Kids” is foremost in our minds as THON weekend is upon us. Our community has always answered the call in supporting the Four Diamonds Fund in an effort to find a cure for childhood cancer. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year and near and dear to my heart for many reasons.
But in addition to the support our local community gives to THON, I have another challenge that hits a little closer to home and allows you the opportunity to get involved as a volunteer, a donor or to provide prizes to help a very worthwhile cause for State High students.
For the 27th consecutive year, an all-volunteer effort is being coordinated by State College High School parents and friends to keep students safe at the May 4-5 post-prom “All Night Party,” otherwise known as the “ANP.”
Last year 525 students participated in the ANP and another 200 parents, teachers, friends, State High alumni and volunteers helped to make the event a tremendous success. This event is special not just as a rite of passage for these students, but for what it means to the local economy. From prom dresses and tuxedos, to flowers and car washes, to restaurants and photographers, these kids and their families are our own and they are an integral part of this community. They are our friends, family and our neighbors, and it is our community’s call to provide for, nurture and protect them.
It doesn’t matter if your kids have already graduated. It doesn’t matter if they are not yet in high school. It doesn’t even matter if you have no affiliation with State High. What matters is that you choose to get involved in a worthwhile program that supports our State High teenagers in a fun, safe and memorable event.
Mitch Kirsch, chair of the 2013 All Night Party, recently sent a letter to many of our businesses and professionals in the area that reads:
“You are likely aware of the increasing danger when youth in our community mix alcohol and driving, especially around prom and graduation season. The tradition of the All Night Party has been successful because of the close collaboration between parent volunteers and community businesses. Your past support has been critical to providing a safe, enjoyable alternative to after prom celebrations.
“The 2013 All Night Party will be held the evening of May 4-5, the same weekend as graduation at Penn State. Our community will be busy with many graduates and their families celebrating an important milestone. We want to be sure our high school students have an attractive environment in which to extend their prom celebration and one where parents can feel comfortable knowing their children are safe.
“Please consider supporting this year’s All Night Party. Every dollar or in-kind donation helps us reach our goal and lets our high school students know that they live in a community that cares about their safety and overall well-being.”
At our last committee meeting, Mitch added, “It’s all about getting these kids to channel their energy in a positive and fun way.”
Last year local Greek organizations contributed more than $5,000 in donations and gift cards, and local businesses stepped up as well with donations of food, beverages, clothing, hats, jewelry, games, prizes, and, of course, volunteers. Remember that every one of these kids will have graduation parties and will be supporting local businesses in the process. So if you want to reach a captive audience of more than 700 local students, come be a part of this memorable evening.
There is a store where students can exchange their “prize money” from the Cash Cab, the Cash Grab and the Casino for gift cards and prizes. There are raffle prizes, inflatable carnival games, a photo booth, Chip Mock’s Caricatures, massages and a Rita’s stand (that’s where you would have found me and my wife Heidi scooping mango,a pple, and strawberry Italian ice. Serve two, eat one).
If you are a member of a local civic group, consider making this a volunteer function for your organization.
If you are interested in sending a donation please make checks out to:
“ANP 2013” and mail to :
1319 Harris St
State College, Pa. 16803
If you would like to donate a prize, please email Joy Vincent-Killian at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for pick up or drop off.
If you have any questions please email Mitch Kirsch, chair, 2013 All Night Party at:Mitchkirsch57@gmail.com.
So be more than just a member of this wonderful community of ours. Come help make it even better and have a great time in the process.
It’s for our kids.