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August 11, 2022

Fundraising Efforts for SLVHS Grad Night Begin

[Kate Kauffman Stoelting works for this publication as an ad sales representative. — editor]

In the grand tradition of senior year events, San Lorenzo Valley High School and its sister school, Coast Redwood, are returning to their roots with an in-person grad night celebration.

The time, effort and costs required to pull off a successful event for graduating seniors are great, but each year, SLVHS parents of graduating students rally to construct a façade outside the school while transforming the gym into a themed wonderland for an all-night party. Past years’ Grad Night themes have included rock & roll, tropical escapes and medieval times, and while this year’s theme is still under wraps, event organizers are hard at work to raise the money needed to make their dreams a reality.

Enter Kate Kauffman Stoelting, marketing chair for the upcoming Wine, Beer & Chocolate Fundraiser at Scopazzi’s Restaurant set for noon-3pm on March 26.

Stoelting is in awe of the local vintners, brewers and chocolatiers who are contributing their goods to the event, as well as the number of auction items that have been donated by local businesses. 

“We’ve collected certificates for brunch at Chaminade, an ecotour through Elkhorn Slough, tickets for a sailing on the Chardonnay, admission to the San Jose Giants and Santa Cruz Warriors games—it’s overwhelming,” said Stoelting, whose own senior, Sarah, will don a cap and gown in June.

Stoelting says the fundraiser is the biggest opportunity for Grad Night planners to bring in much-needed cash to help pay for the different components of the party. 

“Decorations, door prizes, food and beverages, entertainment—it all comes at a cost, and our committee members are working feverishly to raise the $35,000 needed to throw a fantastic party for our seniors,” said Stoelting, who is hoping to sell 100 tickets.

Tickets are $25 online and at the door, and include tastings from all categories. Stoelting is quick to point out that anyone can come to the event for the silent auction. 

“If someone wants to come and bid on an auction item but doesn’t want to partake in any of the tastings, that’s great,” she said. “We welcome the community to join us.”

Since 1985, high schools across the country have embraced the Grad Night philosophy, which is to make sure seniors have a safe and sober post-graduation evening. 

“Statistics show that high school graduation night is the leading night of drunk driving among teens. Parents and community members donate hundreds of hours of hard work every year to keep our kids safe after graduation,” said Stoelting. “The outpouring of support from our community has been tremendous. From the venue, wine, beer and chocolate donors to all the items that have poured in for the silent auction—I really feel the community support for our kids.”

This year’s graduating class is a close-knit group of 175 kids, Stoelting said. 

“Together they have endured the tragic losses of two classmates, the Covid pandemic, and the CZU Fire that destroyed several of their homes,” she said. “Through it all, they have kept their heads up and remained SLV Strong; we are so proud of them and are working hard to give them a safe and sober graduation celebration.”

In addition to the Wine, Beer and Chocolate Fundraiser, San Lorenzo Valley Grad Night parents have also planned the following fundraisers:

  • Dine Out at Togo’s Scotts Valley: March 19
  • See’s Candy Yum Raiser: thru March 31
  • Dine Out at Pizza My Heart 41st Ave: April 11
  • Wild Roots Community Day: Tuesday, April 19 
  • Dine Out at Bruno’s Bar & Grill: April 27
  • Good Will Donation Drive: May 7 & 8

SLV’s Grad Night event takes place on June 8 and the committee is looking for volunteers to help with decorations and donations. Interested in contributing your time, buying tickets for the Wine, Beer & Chocolate event or purchasing a Grad Night ticket for a student? Visit slvgradnight.com for more information.

Christina Wise
Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.

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