When people accomplish something significant in their lives ó whether itís a marriage, a birthday, an anniversary or even a new job ó they like to throw a party. Graduation from high school is one of those major events, and with several commencement exercises scheduled for this holiday weekend, the party is on.

Hundreds of proud families will be in audiences throughout the state as high school seniors march across a stage to accept their diplomas. Itís an important milestone in every young life. This is a moment students ó and parents ó have been working toward for years, and with the guidance and support of dedicated educators the big day has finally arrived.

Major decisions must soon be made, if they havenít been already, concerning further education, career goals and lifeís directions. But the present tense is filled with excitement, celebration and joy.

Unfortunately, that joy can turn to tragedy. Too often, it does. One way many parents and communities have chosen to prevent such sorrow is a supervised post-graduation party with activities and prizes that are sure to attract attendance.

According to statistics provided by national Project Graduation organizers, teenage drivers are 10 times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal traffic accident. Contributing factors include inexperience, distractions inside the vehicle and that youthful sense of immortality. Thatís why Project Graduation functions have become so popular on commencement night. These drug-free, chaperoned celebrations provide graduates with a safe and entertaining why to mark their academic accomplishments with their classmates.

Project Graduation planners have been working throughout the past year to give seniors an evening to celebrate the close of one chapter in their lives before moving on to new challenges and opportunities. Those parents and other volunteers, along with the individuals and businesses who generously sponsor prizes and make contributions, are making graduation night a much safer time for those who deserve to celebrate. Their efforts do not go unnoticed.

Brownwood Bulletin