The Pryor Times

April 9, 2013

Hosting a safe graduation party


Sen. Sean Burrage

— One of the major milestones in our children’s lives is high school graduation—it celebrates the end of one era of their lives, and the beginning of the next. But this season of celebration can far too easily become a time of tragedy. More than a third of all teen alcohol-related traffic fatalities occur during prom and graduation season.

There are other dangers for teens who choose to celebrate with alcohol.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by young adults under the age of 21 in this country is in the form of binge drinking. Consuming too many drinks can result in alcohol poisoning, a condition that can cause brain damage or death unless the individual receives prompt medical attention.

Parents and schools throughout the country are urged to help create and support safe, adult-supervised parties and activities as a way of preventing these kinds of tragedies. This is something the community of Claremore has done for the past several years, and something that Rep. Marty Quinn and I both wholeheartedly support.

The entire town gets involved in the annual Zebra Safe Graduation Bash, a party hosted by parents of graduating seniors and community businesses. It’s an all-night drug and alcohol free party held in the old high school gym the night of graduation.  This year the date is May 13, and the lock-in with sponsors and chaperones begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 5:30 a.m.

The all-night celebration includes plenty of fun activities like a ping pong tournament, a craps table, inflatable games of boxing, dodge ball, line dancing and entertainment. Every single student attending will get a prize, and they include TVs, DVD players, computers and gift cards from local stores. To contribute, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to CHS Graduation Celebration, P.O. Box 2133, Claremore, OK  74018-2133.

To find out more about how you can help, or if your community would like to learn more about hosting a safe graduation event, you can contact this year’s co-chairs.  They are Janice Pestel at (918) 724-5554 and Melanie Harren at (918) 706-2662.

The safe graduation bash is a fantastic way for a town to come together to help our young people celebrate this major life accomplishment in a safe and fun way. If you live in the Claremore area, I urge you to help support this annual event. If you live elsewhere, take a look at what Claremore is doing and think about starting a tradition like this in your town.

Thanks again for reading my “Senate Review.” If you have any questions on a legislative matter, please do not hesitate to contact my Senate office at the Capitol by calling (405) 521-5555 or writing me with your concerns at: Senator Sean Burrage, 2300 North Lincoln Blvd. Rm. 522, State Capitol Building, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 I always enjoy hearing from my constituents and consider it an honor to be your voice in the Oklahoma State Senate. May God bless each of you.