Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wai'anae grads need help funding Project Graduation

Representative Maile Shimabukuro is putting a call out to the public for monetary donations to help fund Wai'anae High School Project Graduation.

This year, the Department of Education stepped away from Project Graduation, pulling funding from the program because of recent budget cuts. Parents and community volunteers instead worked to get sponsors to help fund the all-night party for high school seniors on their graduation day. However, many local businesses have been unable to help without jeopardizing their business needs.

Although the committee and students have worked very hard fundraising and seeking sponsors, they are still $10,000 short of making the event happen. Even more, many parents, who have lost their jobs or have accumulated more expenses by taking struggling family members into their homes, are unable to pay the $200 fee to attend the event.

"Realizing graduation is this week Friday, June 5, 2009, we really want these kids to attend. Since we have already placed deposits on everything, including event locations, meals, paid for buses, shirts and jackets, we must roll forward," said Gail Gomes, chair of the Wai'anae High School Project Graduation committee.

"Project graduation is an important high school experience in Hawaii," added Rep. Shimabukuro. "These kids deserve a night of fun for all their hard work. I encourage everyone who is able to donate any amount of money to help make Project Grad a reality for our Wai'anae students."

The public should call Gail Gomes at 808-696-7978 or email at for more information. Since graduation is Friday, June 5, Gomes has said that she will personally pick up any donations. Checks can also be mailed to: 85-251 Farrington Highway and made payable to "Wai'anae High School Project Graduation".

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