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Project Graduation keeps newest grads safe on their big night

By VANITA FITZWATER

Guest writer

The Boyle County High School Class of 2019 graduated on Saturday, May 25. Thirteen years of hard work, priceless friendships, and fierce dedication guided this group of truly unique and inspirational students to a milestone that only leads to exciting new beginnings. That evening, while these students were celebrating their graduation under a sky illuminated with fireworks, teachers were preparing for a highly-praised Boyle County tradition: Project Graduation.

                   Fitzwater

Project Graduation serves as a solution for many schools across the nation. The evening of high school prom and graduation are found to be the deadliest for teenage drivers. Thus, Boyle County High School hosts Project Graduation in the effort to keep students safe in the wake of their milestone. It is believed that Project Graduation has done a lot to save the lives of students over the years, but it does more than that. This event is more than just a simple lock-in. It offered students an opportunity to spend just a few more moments with each other, surrounded by entertainment that kept everyone busy from 11 p.m. to Sunday morning, almost reaching 6 a.m.

The Boyle County High School gymnasium, the same place where these 219 students sat with their teachers, was converted into an inflatable playground, even inciting the competitive side of a few Danville Police Officers. Each Bingo game in the cafeteria led to a prize for the winner, giving each student the opportunity to win something that was donated by one of our several, generous community contributors. Those playing Bingo would get as energized as others who were in the midst of intense 3 X 3 basketball, corn hole or laser tag team matches. As fun as it was to ride some of the faux horses, many students had just as much (if not more) fun watching teachers run for the roses themselves. The karaoke machine gave students the chance to serenade other students in the cafeteria who were playing in the Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate tournament on the Nintendo Switch. There was plenty for our creative grads with painting provided by Deco-Art, tie-dying, and tiles preserving photo booth memories. Of course, nobody would have been able to pull an all-nighter without a spread of delicious food to keep students, teachers, and parent volunteers going.

To conclude the event, students gathered in the cafeteria for a highly anticipated part of Project Graduation: the prize giveaways. Businesses, parents, and members of the community made very generous donations in order to give the new graduates something for their dorms or a boost to their summer activities. Each student went home with a prize – prizes such as televisions, bluetooth speakers, mini-fridges, and smoothie makers for dorms or apartments; tailgate/fitness packages and Eno hammocks for outdoor fun, and car care kits for in between! After all of the prizes were claimed and taken to their cars, the Class of 2019 said their goodbyes and headed home for some much needed rest, while the Boyle County High School staff and parents cleaned up the aftermath of Project Graduation.

Being one of those lucky graduates, I was privileged to be able to attend Project Graduation this year and join my classmates and teachers in the fun. By the end of the night, I went home with a new pair of Timberland boots and a tailgate kit which included a fold-up chair, mini-grill, and a cooler, among other things. Needless to say, I will be going hiking and camping here in Kentucky very soon before I head to Massachusetts for college.

Even with college and other exciting new ventures on our minds, Project Graduation gave me the time to sit down and spend time with people I see all the time. There was no pressure to get that last paper in, no anxiety over studying for those finals. This was a chance for us to appreciate and celebrate what Boyle County Schools has done to bring us all together. Though the goodbyes were bittersweet, there will be times where we will see each other again. To all of my fellow classmates, know that wherever we go and whatever we do, we will always be the Boyle County High School Class of 2019. “May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, and may the road less paved be the road that you follow.”

Human foosball contenders Makayla Baker, Dylan Satterly, & Tanner Southerland. (Photo contributed)

Of course, it is important to note that none of this would have been possible without our many generous donors in the community.  Many of these organizations have been supporting BCHS for several years, not just for Project Graduation but for other student functions, activities, and teams, as well. For that, the Class of 2019 is grateful for the contributions from the following people and businesses:

A & L Accessories; A Brighter Choice, LLC; A Lasting Impression; Ace Hardware and Appliances; Allen Company, Inc.; Alum Springs First Church Of God; American Greetings; American Legion Battlefield Post #A301; Applebee’s Grill; Arbonne Consultant-Renee Ellis; Arby’s; Auto Connection; Automate Of Danville, Inc.;

B & E Furniture, LLC; Balfour; Beech Grove Baptist Church; Berry Plastics; Bluegrass Community Technical College; Bluegrass Drugstore; Bob Allen Motor Mall; Bokays Flowers & Gifts; Bostick Dental Center; Bowlarama Lanes; Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse; Boyle County Attorney-Christopher Herron; Boyle County Board Of Education; Boyle County Circuit Court Clerk-Cortney Shewmaker; Boyle County Clerk-Trille Bottom; Boyle County District Court Judge-Hon. Jeff Dotson; Boyle County Farm Bureau Federation; Boyle County PVA-Lacresha Gibson; Boyle County Quarterback Club, Inc.; Branscum Construction Co., Inc.; Bright Leaf Resort; Buffalo Wings and Rings; Bumblebee Sports; Burke’s Bakery;

Caldwell Collision Center; Caldwell Stone Company; Calvary Baptist Church; Captain Franks; Car Express Wash; Carol’s Bridal and Gift Boutique; Cato Fashions-Harrodsburg; Central Bank & Trust Company; Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank; Central Kentucky Surgeons, PSC; Centre College Alumni Office; Centre College Bookstore; Cerci On Main, LLC; Chaplin River Catering; Chase Bank; Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen; Chinatown Restaurant; City Of Perryville; Clotfelter-Samokar Architects; Coffman’s Supply; Coldwell Banker VIP Realty; The Color Bar Hair Salon; Commonwealth Credit Union; Community Arts Center, Inc.; Community Trust Bank; Control Logic; Corning Inc.; Critchfield & Critchfield CPA; Custom Air Inc.;

D & C Small Engine; Dairy Queen; Danielle’s Drive Away Café; Danville Bike and Footwear; Danville Bottled Water; Danville Cinemas 8; Danville Dermatology; Danville Eye Center; Danville Family Dentistry; Danville Office Equipment Co; Danville OMS – Beto & Bogardus; Danville Pediatric Dentistry; Danville Pediatrics; Danville Rotary Club; Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation; DecoArt, Inc.; Dexter Real Estate & Insurance; Diesel Tech; Dollywood; Domino’s Pizza; Dr. Barry M Kowalik OD; Dr. Susan Couzens; Dr. William Webster DMD;

Edward Jones; Elba Fitzwater; Ellis Florist; Emily Nails; Ephraim McDowell Health; Eric Guerrant, MD; Eye Associates Optical;

Jacob Lassiter and Joseph Subora have fun with karaoke. (Photo contributed)

Family Medicine Clinic; Farmers Warehouse Company; Fazolis; Feistritzer Electric Heating & Air Conditioning; Ferm Solutions; First Baptist Church; First Christian Church;

Gentle Dental Care; Global Security Consulting; Good Neighbor Pharmacy; Grand Strandz; Great American Dollhouse Museum; Great Clips; Guadalajara;

Hair Sensations; Hair To Stay Salon; Harley’s Family Tire; Harrodsburg Community Church; Health First Chiropractic; Heart of Kentucky United Way; Hobart; Holiday World; Hon. Daniel Elliott, State Representative; The Hub Coffee House & Café; Huddle House, Inc.;

Illusions Hair Designs; In Motion Video; Indian Hills Christian Church; Inter-County Energy Coop Corp.;

Jacob & Allison Tamme; Job Master Rental; Joedy Sharpe Construction Co., Inc.; John Sheene Electric; Johnson-Pohlmann Insurance; Junction City First Baptist Church;

Karla Adams of Genesis Hair Salon; Keeneland; Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association; Kerbaugh & Rodes; Kings Island; Kirk Schlea Photography; Kleckner’s Collision Center, Inc.; Knights of Columbus, Council #6317; Kroger;

Lafayette Engineering, Inc.; Lawson Tractor; Lee Stephens; Lee’s Famous Recipe; Lexington Avenue Baptist Church; Lexington Ice Center; Lil’ Cherubs-Centenary Methodist; Linda M. Castle; Lisa Keller, RN; Director; Morning Pointe Senior Living; Little Paws Piano & Music Studio; Long John Silvers; Los Rodeos; Lowes Home Centers, Inc.;

Magnabilities-Vicki Young-Cox; Major’s Floor Covering; Malt Beverage Educational Corporation; Maple Tree Gallery, Inc.; Marjorie & Hugh Hines; Mark Brown Auto Body, Inc.; Mark L. Morgan & Assoc., Al; Marshall & Betsey Wilt; McDonald’s (Thoroughbred Dr.); McDowell Place Of Danville; McDowell Wellness Center; McGlone Construction Co., Inc.; Meade Tractor; The Medicine Shoppe; Melton’s Deli II; Merle Norman; Monticello Banking Company; Mr. Miser Food Mart;

Nash, Cleveland & Godfrey; National Office Furniture; NESCO; Nicola Jabbour M.D.; Norton Center for the Arts; Nutritional Center 2;

Off Centre Laundry & Tanning; Orange Leaf;

PADOC, LLC; Pampered Chef; Papa Johns; Parksville Christian Church; Patrick Cooper Painting; Peaceful Strength; Perfect North Slopes; Perryville Baptist Church; Perryville Furniture Outlet; Perryville United Methodist Church; Pizza Hut-Danville; Plank On Main; Presbyterian Church of Danville; Purple Pinky Nail Salon;

Raptors Motorcycle Club; Red Robin; Robinson Hughes Christopher

Ruth & Shearer, CPAs;

Ben Hines plays in a Zorb ball. (Photo contributed)

Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church; Sandy Surprises; Scott Scutchfield MD; Second Street Christian Church; Sheehan, Barnett, Dean, Pennington, Little & Dexter P.S.C.; Shell Oil (Ready Mart); The Shirt Garage; Shoe Sensation; Sonic Drive In; Speedway 9580; Springfield Laundry DBA Rainbow Cleaners; St. Mary’s Catholic; Starbucks; Stephen W. Buchanan DMD; Stith Funeral Home-Danville Inc.; Stuart Powell Ford, Inc.; Subway Restaurant (Perryville Rd.); Sun Tan City; Sweets By Cindy;

Thirty One – Dawn Smith; Thoroughbred Car Wash; Tim and Cindy Blevins; Tim McCoy Construction Co; Timberland; Totally Clips Salon; Trim Masters Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Trinity Episcopal Church; Tut’s;

United Structural Systems; Unity Baptist Church; USA Signs LLC;

Valvoline Instant Oil Change; VFW Post 3634;

Walden Funeral Home Inc; Wal-Mart Stores Inc; Wanda’s Country Kitchen; Ward Vision Center; Wendy’s; Wesley Chapel Church; Whitaker Bank; Wilderness Trace Veterinary Clnic; William Rankin, M.D.; Windjammer; Women’s Care of the Commonwealth; and Zaxby’s.

Vanita Fitzwater is a 2019 graduate of Boyle County High School.