HHS All-Night Party is a community traditionWhen it comes to the Hudson High School All-Night Party, everybody wants to get in on the act. This year’s party following graduation on June 12 will mark the 25th year of the event.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
When it comes to the Hudson High School All-Night Party, everybody wants to get in on the act.
This year’s party following graduation on June 12 will mark the 25th year of the event. Since it began in 1985, the party has represented a collaborative effort between parents, school staff, local businesses and the community at large to hold a safe and fun celebration for HHS graduates. With participation at more than 90 percent of the graduating class and no serious graduation weekend accidents or injuries, there can only be one conclusion — mission accomplished.
The event is a totally volunteer effort with committees made up of parents from the senior class working with junior class parents, constantly perfecting the planning and execution of Hudson’s biggest party.
From the start the party has enjoyed the support of the community. Businesses have not only provided financial support but have been generous in providing gifts, prizes, entertainment and food for the graduates. While tickets are sold for the event, the lion’s share of the expense of the party is covered through donations and gifts. And every student can attend the party whether they can afford a ticket or not. The committee makes sure of that by working confidentially with school staff to ensure that any student who wants to attend can.
And the All-Night Party is a very popular ticket. Every year since it began, participation has grown from more than 80 percent in the early years to around 95 percent last year.
Ryan Cari of Heywood, Cari & Anderson, is also a HHS alumnus who attended the party for his class in 1997. His parents, Sam and Theresa Cari, worked on the party as volunteers and served as co-chairpersons. Their law firm has been a longtime supporter of the party.
Ryan remembers his party, particularly the part where he was one of the subjects of the always popular hypnotist who is always part of the evening’s entertainment.
“I remember the party pretty well. I think it is a great way to close off one of life’s most exciting chapters. Almost everyone attends so you get to say your goodbyes and have one more great time together. It’s an event you don’t want to miss. There will be other kinds of parties in the future, in college or wherever you end up but I think kids get that this one is special,” said Ryan Cari.
He and his father continue to be big supporters of the party. Both agree that supporting the high school and events like the party are good for everyone in the community and nothing is more important than keeping Hudson’s young people safe.
Sam Cari said he has always been impressed with the commitment of the volunteers to make the party the best experience possible. “There is such great participation by the parents and the community that obviously pays off when you see the high percentage of graduates that attend.”
Art Doyle of Art Doyle’s Spokes and Pedals has been a supporter of the party ever since it began, donating a new bike as a prize, this year valued at more than $300. He says he is just glad that the first committee came and asked him to help.
“I like supporting community events and our kids. I’m proud to be a small business in Hudson and giving back to the community is part of that. If the community does well, then so do I. That may sound like a platitude but sometimes they hit it right on the head.”
Doyle said he, too, is impressed with the high turnout of graduates at the party every year. He said it is an easy decision to support the event.
John Clymer who heads up The Phipps Foundation, another of the community organizations that has supported the party from the beginning, is also enthusiastic about it. He is most impressed with the involvement and dedication of the parents. He and his wife Jan have been party volunteers and have seen firsthand the amount of time and effort it takes to pull off a party for 300 or more teenagers.
“I know in other communities they hire people to run it but here it is all volunteers. There is so much ownership of it here and you can see that it pays off by the large number of graduates who attend. It is a very important community tradition,” said Clymer.
Some of the other businesses and organizations that have contributed to the party over the years include Anderson Heating, Dopkins Accounting Service, First State Bank & Trust of Bayport, Gavic Construction, Dentistry on Vine, Bethel Lutheran Church, Croix Valley Veterinarian Hospital, Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery, Knights of Columbus, Larson Allen CPA, NorLake, Sandeen Agency, Xcel Energy and the Hudson Boosters.
Along with The Phipps, other foundations that support the event include both Daybreak and Noon Rotary clubs, the AnnMarie Foundation, Andersen Foundation and the Hudson Community Fund.
The 2010 Senior All-Night Party is a chemical-free, lock-in event held on graduation night. For more information contact Dennis and Lois Duerst at (715) 381-7008 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or Anita Stilwell at (715) 381-1683. Information is also available on the HHS Web site at www.hudson.k12.wi.us/Hudson High School under Senior Year and Graduation Information.