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Place to be for graduating seniors
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Sober Graduation at East Union was held on campus, with Miranda Hamm, Stephanie Quant, and Rachel Hoppis marking the all-night event dressed in their pajamas. - photo by Photo by Chris Leonard Photography

Sober Grad parties were the place to be for members of the Class of 2011.

That’s even if it meant breaking recent tradition.

Take Sierra High, for example. The Sober Graduation event was held last Friday at John’s Incredible Pizza in Modesto rather than the nearby family fun park “Boomers!”

The result of that was strong attendance numbers.

“I don’t know if (the change of venue to John’s Incredible) had anything to do with it,” said Sober Grad Committee president Jason Osborn.

Organizers estimated the Sober Grad count at 225. Of that, 210 were the newly graduates and 15 came as guests.

Furthermore, those numbers were even more impressive considering Sierra’s Class of 2011 had about 280 who received their diplomas earlier that evening.

Jennifer Kaoorn Rasmy, who is bound for San Francisco State University in the fall, indicated that friendships among the classmates may have helped spark attendance in this year’s Sober Grad.

“This is the last time we’ll be together as a class,” she said.

Sober Grad was the end to an already whirlwind day for class members.

After the commencement exercises, many attended family gatherings consisting of friends and out-of-town relatives before departing for Modesto.

“I barely had enough time to stop by and say ‘hi,’” Arayna Sullivan said.

Once at Sober Grad, she and her fellow classmates had plenty to do in terms of fun, food, and games.

“This is a safe place for them to come and have a wholesome good time without alcohol,” said Osborn. “They can play while they enjoy being themselves.”

He added that Lori Konecny, who was the Sober Grad Committee vice president, was the backbone in helping make this event possible.

She indicated otherwise. “We had great support from our parents,” Konecny said.

The Sober Grad Committee held plenty of fundraisers from throughout the year, including drive-thru dinners and various sales ranging from pumpkin pies to candies.

At East Union, over 150 members from the Class of 2011 took part in the all-night event held on campus inside both gymnasiums.

They, too, engaged in fun, food and a flurry of activities made possible by the efforts of their Sober Grad Committee.

“We had plenty who donated,” said committee chair Shari Provost.

Pizza, for example, came compliments of Little Caesar’s, Papa Murphy’s, Round Table, Straw Hat, and Mountain Mike’s in Manteca, to name a few.

Home Town Buffet in Stockton, Tracy and Modesto contributed to the cause.

Guido’s, Chili’s, Grocery Depot, Costco, Kelley Brothers, Las Consuelas, Dryer’s, Save Mart, Safeway, Daily Fresh Donuts, Food 4 Less, Starbuck’s, Calvary Community Church, Main Auto Repair, and Cal Plastics were among those chipping in locally for this function.

“At least no one will go hungry,” Provost said.

Gavora Studio also did its part by providing free haircuts to the East Union grads.

In addition, students – some came dressed in pajamas since the event didn’t conclude until 4 o’clock that next morning – had  a chance to try their hand at casino card games, sing karaoke, dance inside the small gym, or just play in the bounce house and the inflatable obstacle course.

Sober Grad was the place to be for the Class of 2011,