Tahlequah Daily Press

February 28, 2014

Planning continues for Save a Senior

By SEAN ROWLEY
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — For the 30th year, preparations are underway to create a safe celebratory environment for Tahlequah High School seniors the night after they receive their diplomas.

Save a Senior is May 23 after the THS graduation ceremonies. The event is in the University Center at Northeastern State University from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., and includes food, activities, dancing, a hypnotist and an oxygen bar.

“The students usually start checking in about 9:30,” said organizer Sheila Fritz. “It is strictly for THS seniors; no outside students can attend. They must take a breathalyzer and stay for the entire event, unless a parent comes to pick them up.”

Parents organizing Save a Senior say they have raised about $12,000 of the needed $30,000 tostage the event.

“We have enough to throw the party,” Fritz said. “Now we need to raise enough for the giveaways. We believe the more fun stuff we can offer, the more the students will want to attend.”

Further funding will allow each student to receive a $50 Visa gift card, and have their names entered in a drawing for a TV, coffee makers, laptops, camping gear, a kayak and other prizes.

“Teachers and administrators often visit,” Fritz said. “It can be unusual for the seniors because they go from being students or kids at 5:30 that afternoon before graduation, and they are adults by 9:30. The administrators and teachers go from being educators and disciplinarians to peers.”

During the academic year, the Save a Senior parents have organized silent auctions at the football games, teachers lunches and a baked potato lunch fundraiser.

“Save a Senior is a group effort,” Fritz said. “It isn’t just one person or a few, but a lot of people working really hard.”

Upcoming fundraisers include $5 lunches for Tahlequah Public Schools teachers. On March 11, teachers can purchase a pulled pork sandwich with chips, a drink and dessert. On March 13, they can buy a baked potato with fixings, a drink and dessert.

The Save a Senior benefit golf tournament is April 5 at Cherokee Springs Golf Course, and the all-you-can-eat Masonic Lodge pancake breakfast is April 19.

Those seeking information about Save a Senior, its fundraisers, or wishing to donate can call Fritz at (918) 797-8278. Donations can be made to any parent of a THS senior by giving them a check made out to Save a Senior. Donations are tax-deductible.

“Save a Senior is an activity account, but we are also a parent organization,” Fritz said. “Contracts and purchase orders are approved by the TPS board. No dime can be spent without the board’s approval. And when there is a district audit, our account gets audited. The money is tracked carefully.”

Fritz said all parents of seniors are welcome to participate in the planning of Save a Senior.

A Facebook page, “Save a Senior 2014,” is online with information on upcoming meetings and fundraisers.

“We want more parents involved,” Fritz said. “Not only because there is plenty to do, but because we want them to feel included. We also want to thank everyone who has supported us in our fundraising efforts. We can’t do this without the support of Tahlequah.”

Visit www.tahlequahdailypress.com to read an online exclusive about Save a Senior.

srowley@tahlequahdailypress.com